November 27, 2011

Exploding Heart

My heart is full.  Like, the kind of full that renders me incapable of stringing words into coherent sentences.

We just spent five days in my hometown surrounded by family, after having been gone for nearly 6 months.  We ate, we laughed, we played, we napped, we talked, we ate, we walked "the hill", we ping-pong'ed, we catchphrase-d, we cried, we thanked, we loved.
Twenty-three people crammed around my parents' beautifully decorated Thanksgiving table.  We passed the food around.  Family-style, not buffet.  Because that's our family.  We ate til it hurt, then we talked, then we ate some more.  Because that's our family.  We hung the Christmas lights up in a perfect straight line.  Because that's our family.  We took forever to say "goodbye".  Because that's our family.

My heart was full as we played a game of "Around the World" ping pong with 17 players... Grandma included. (!)  My heart was full as all the cousins played a game of Catch Phrase.  My heart was full as I got to catch up with my big brother.  Just the two of us, talking, like old times.   My heart was full as I walked and talked 4 miles with my mom, my wisest counselor.

My heart was full as we surprised my little sister at school.  My heart was full as we caught lunch with the Mr.'s parents on our way back to Oregon. My heart is full...

This week has been a dream; and I'm feeling a bit reluctant to wake up.  I'm beyond thankful for this sweet time with family; and I'm thankful that our 'goodbye' is only for 4 weeks.

What a gift, an absolute gift, this life and this family...
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November 21, 2011

The day I fell down the stairs...

Today, I did something stupid.

After a whirlwind lunch break, (full of grocery shopping, laundry folding, dishwasher emptying, and food eating) I raced down our stairs to head back to the office to make it in time for a meeting.  I did not take into consideration, however, the lethal combination of our stairs (crafted out of a soft wood) and my stiletto heels. I was about halfway from the bottom when my left heel stuck and I tumbled, head over heels - literally - down our wood stairs, landing on the tile below.
Ouchie. 
So my wrists, legs, and ankles are quite bruised and I feel pretty silly.  But that's not the point.

Cranberry Sauce is the point.   In case you are in a panic, as Thanksgiving is a mere 3 (THREE!) days away, and you refuse to buy cranberry sauce from the store, I have your answer.

You see, after falling down the stairs, I decided to make Cranberry Sauce.  Unrelated, but whatever.  So here, my friends, is the easiest recipe ever for this Thanksgiving staple.
 
(Recipe from Jennie)
Spice Scented Cranberry Sauce from Jennie
Makes about one quart
One 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Add all the ingredients to a heavy-bottomed 2-quart pot, and stir to combine. Cover pot and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Remove lid, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and jam-like, about 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool to room temperature or chill before serving. May be prepared and stored in a glass container 3 to 4 days in advance.

Aaaaahhhh, and now my home smells like the holidays!

Also, I made simple Cranberry Sauce, in case our family doesn't love the spiced version.
To make it "regular," simply omit spices and replace water with orange juice.

And now, we can celebrate in style.  Bruises and all...

PS - Who has two thumbs and is finally heading home tomorrow (after being away for over 6 months)????

THIS GIRL!!!!!
Happy Thanksgiving, All!
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November 18, 2011

on my ugliness...

I’m fighting a war.  I am a work in progress.

All too often, I find that I’m balancing on the edge of a precipice as thin and sharp as a razor blade, with envy pulling me one way and the air of indifferent self-righteousness beckoning me the other.  Trying to strike the perfect balance of contentment between the two.

I have thought that I was content.  For the longest time, I’ve kept envy at bay – certain that I was living the dream, that everything was perfect.  But then, without any warning and for no apparent reason, this monster has begun to rear its ugly head.

Then it hit me.

For all of that time that I thought I was content, I am realizing that I was really just acting in prideful self-righteousness.  It is all too easy to be "content" when you think that you have it better off than everyone else.
  
Envy is what happens when you want what they have.  When suddenly, someone else has what you want or is living the life you want.  Envy is what happens when you are comparing yourself to another. And that is way worse, right?  Not really.

That false sense of contentment - the product of self-righteousness - is no less of an attitude of comparison than is envy.  It just feels different.  It feels like all is right with the world...... when compared to someone else's world.

This understanding, this realization, this revelation of my imperfections is hard.  I don’t like knowing that I am flawed.  And yet, I love it.  I love knowing that “He who began a good work in {me}, will be faithful to complete it.”  I love knowing that our Father disciplines those He loves.  I love the He loves me too much to let me stay the way I am.

I’m a work in progress.  You know the sign, “Pardon our mess, we’re renovating,”?  Well, I’m certain that it would be appropriate for me to wear that sign around my neck for, oh say, the next 70 years.

I’m trying to learn how to be content.  How to walk the proverbial line between jealousy and indifferent pride. How to humbly and joyfully embrace where the Lord has me, today.

Clay in the Potter’s hand looks like an ugly, lumpy mess.  So please forgive my ugliness and bear with my lumps, I’m a work in progress.

For my good and for His glory,
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November 17, 2011

1000 Gifts: 61-80


-The fourth installment of 1000 Gifts-
While it is important to focus on the gifts for which we are thankful, I don't intend to cheapen them by putting them in this list.  Regardless, it is my desire to discipline myself to focus on the blessings with which we have been so richly showered.  And so, here are the fourth 20 gifts... 920 to go!   :)
61

The life of faith that Grandpa Plant modeled for us
62
Hope.
63
Licorice
64
45 voices, lifted up in song
65
The crisp, cool autumn air
66
A dishwasher
67
Phone conversations that shorten a roadtrip
68
Seattle nightlife, all abuzz
69
70
The uninhibited wonder of a 3-year-old
71
Red cups at Starbucks, hailing Christmas' impending arrival
72
Belted shirts
73
Reservations for a weekend get-away to the beach!
74
Co-workers that act like family
75
Our freedom. By God's grace and their sacrifice.
76
Saturday football.
77
A microwave that pops the popcorn perfectly, every time.
78
Brand, new Christmas wrapping paper!
79
Freshly carved pumpkins, weeks after Halloween.
80
The perfect crunch of toasted baguette topped with tomato/basil bruschetta

Thank you, Lord.
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November 15, 2011

Lately.

We've been eating a lot of this.
And I have no shame.  Could there be a more beautiful mixture than tomatoes, basil, and garlic?

I submit that there cannot.


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November 14, 2011

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I really don't like recipes.  Yes, they provide a good outline for suggested proportions and such, but really?  Don't follow recipes.  Tweak them to your heart's content.  


This was one such recipe. I altered it significantly from the original and tried to remember those alterations for the recipe below.   The picture was pretty, and I like cinnamon rolls.  So I decided to try it.  Success.  And now, in a fantastic show of irony, check out this amazing recipe (!) paired with mediocre pictures.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread... aka - Heaven on Earth










Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from JoytheBaker
For the Dough:
2 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 ounces butter
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 ounces butter, melted until browned

In a large mixing bowl (I used just the bowl of my stand mixer) whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.
Whisk together eggs and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.   Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  .

Place the dough is a large, greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  *I let the dough rise until doubled in size, then refrigerated it overnight for use in the morning.  If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.

While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon  for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and
let rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  Roll it as large as the dough will go.  Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  

Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  I used a handy-dandy pastry cutter.  Worked like a dream. Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw.  A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.   Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board.  Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the  upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.  

Above all, enjoy!!!


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November 12, 2011

Making a List... Checkin' it Twice!



Dear You,
I know that Thanksgiving has yet to come upon us, and Halloween has just barely passed, but I need your help.

The second annual Boboth Christmas Letter is in the works  I can guarantee that it is just about as exciting and sarcastic as this blog.

And now where YOU come in... we have addresses, but we also do not have a lot that we'd love to have. (If that didn't confuse you, congratulations.) 

SOOOOoooooo, if you have moved this year and changed your address, if you are a newer-ish friend and do not think that we already have your address, or if you are just a regular reader and would like to receive a copy of our - wait for it - Second Annual Boboth Christmas Letter, then send your mailing address to lboboth{at}gmail{dot}com. (That is my email and I promise not to sell your information.)

Ok, that's all...  Merry Thanksgiving time!



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November 11, 2011

Hero

There are a few things that will ALWAYS make me cry.  Always.  I'll make a list someday so that you can laugh and point at me.   Veteran's Day is one such occasion.

Here's one reason why.  I'm so proud of my sweet grandfather.  So proud.

To all Veterans and current and past military personnel, thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



November 6, 2011

1000 Gifts: 41-60

-The third installment of 1000 Gifts-
While it is important to focus on the gifts for which we are thankful, I don't intend to cheapen them by putting them in this list.  Regardless, it is my desire to discipline myself to focus on the blessings with which we have been so richly showered.  And so, here are the third 20 gifts... 940 to go!   :)

41

A home to clean
42
Lazy Sunday mornings
43
A car that works
44
God's grace
45
Phone calls with my baby sister
46
Skittles
47
Decongestant
48
Pumpkin hunting
49
50
Crunchy leaves
51
The perfect sugar cookie recipe
52
An evening run with my man
53
Sunday School
54
Nonna Emilia's garlic bread. Amen.
55
Rib-eye steak with good friends
56
Exedrin: migraine-strength
57
58
Yellow leaves
59
New recipes
60
Music



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November 5, 2011

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November...

...as if I could forget....

Twenty-four years ago today, the world grew a little sweeter, a little richer.
Twenty-four years ago today, Cole Vernon Boboth was born.
Twenty-four years ago today, everything changed.

Thank you, Lord.

Happy birthday, my love!  You are, by far, the greatest earthly gift that I have been given. You are the sweetest reminder of God's outrageous grace in my life. I love you to infinity and beyond.  And then some. I am so thankful that God chose to give you life and to bless mine with yours.

Dream come true.

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Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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