Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pavola - Delicious Summer Dessert


My mom used to make this dessert all the time. It was one of her major claims to fame. She wasn't a good cook and didn't make anything from scratch, but she made a mean pavlova. I knew that having a stand mixer was crucial to the success of this dish. Ours arrived in December and I've been itching to make this delicious dessert ever since.

We had folks over for Memorial Day and I knew I wanted to make Pavlova. It's a summery dessert that uses berries and fruit on a bed of meringue with whipped cream. It is a fairly complex recipe in terms of steps, but doesn't take that many ingredients and each step is relatively easy.

The meringue is especially delicious because it's crisp on the outside and marshmallow-y on the inside. Pair it with a sweet whipped cream and seasonal fruit and you've got a fantastic dessert!
First separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Be sure to do the separating in a smaller bowl so you don't contaminate all the egg whites with a rogue yolk. Once they are separated, you can put away the yolks for another recipe (try this creme brulee!) and cover the whites. Leave them out until they are room temperature. This should take about 30 minutes.
Be sure that the egg whites are in a clean bowl free of any water. This is crucial to ensure a good meringue. 

While the egg whites are sitting, grind sugar in a food processor until ultra fine. I'm pretty sure that my mom used powdered sugar, but the recipes I found suggested ultra fine sugar, so that's what I'm doing.

Once the egg whites are room temperature, beat on medium until they form soft peaks. You can tell you are at the soft peak stage if you pull the beater out and the egg whites form a peak and the tip curls over. Until this happens, keep beating! On medium (I switched my KitchenAid from 4-6) this took about 12 minutes.
Slowly add the sugar and beat on high until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Test the egg whites by rubbing a little between your fingers - if it is gritty, keep it mixing!
Once the mixture is smooth and not gritty, whip in the vanilla.
After the vanilla is combined, add the vinegar and corn starch. No need to beat these in, just fold them in with a spatula.
The meringue is done! Spread it on a lined cookie sheet. My mom always used wax or parchment paper, but I think she would have used silpat if she had it. That's what I did.
Make a nest with the sides slightly higher than the middle. I always thought Pavlova looked like a bird's nest when I was a little girl.  Once the nest is done, put it in a preheated oven at 250 degrees and bake for 60-75 minutes or until it is a light cream color and is solid to the touch.

Once the pavlova is done, turn the oven off and open slightly. Keep the pavlova in the oven until completely cool. This will take several hours.

While the pavlova bakes, I sliced some strawberries. I like my strawberries sweet so I macerate them in a little sugar overnight before I add them to the dish.
I prepared all of this the night before our party. Before the party, I whipped up some cream. I used 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, a dash of vanilla, and two tablespoons of sugar. The whipped cream wasn't overly sweet, but the meringue is especially sweet, so it makes a good balance!
Right before we were ready for dessert, I placed a spoonful of whipped cream in the center of the meringue nest. I top the whipped cream with sliced fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, and apples. You can use whatever you want. I would have used blueberries also, but they were very expensive. My mom didn't use apples, but I love apples in my fruit salad, so I thought they would be a good addition.
Be sure that your fruit are cut into small pieces. It's delicious to get a variety of fruit, some meringue, and some whipped cream all in one bite!
Add another spoonful of whipped cream on top. The whipped cream and fruit can cover a multitude of sins. The meringue will crack and the whipped cream can help hold it together. Even if it doesn't look pretty before you add the whipped cream and fruit, it will when you're done...but then it won't be pretty again once someone takes the first serving! 
We served this at our Memorial Day party and it was a huge hit! It's gluten-free and refreshing. Jarrod isn't a big fruit-in-dessert fan, but he even had some! The Pavlova doesn't keep for long in the fridge because the meringue gets soggy, so be sure to eat it in a few days...as if it would ever last that long...


Pavlova
Recipe from Leanne and Courtney's mom

Meringue
8 egg whites
2 cups of super fine sugar (or granulated sugar run through the food processor)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Fruit
14 strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with sugar
2 nectarines, sliced and chopped
2 apples, sliced and chopped
12 raspberries
optional: kiwi, blueberries, sliced grapes, other seasonal fruit cut small

When the egg whites are at room temperature, whip in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for about 10-12 minutes or until they form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and continue whipping until dissolved. This should take another 10-12 minutes.

Whip in the vanilla. Sprinkle the corn starch and vinegar and fold with a spatula until combined.

Spread mixture on a lined cookie sheet. It should make a large nest with sides taller than the middle. Bake at 250 for 60-75 minutes or until it turns a light cream color. Turn oven off and crack oven door. Leave the meringue in the oven until completely cool.

While the meringue is baking, whip the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until fluffy. Spread half the whipped cream on the meringue nest. Cover with fruit and remaining whipped cream. Serve immediately.


I'm linking over at Newlywed's Recipe Linky!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I just got here and I'm already awesome.

Back before Christmas I showed you this onesie I made for our little one. Last week, Wesley wore it for the first time! I can hardly remember making it and thought he'd be much younger the first time he wore it - hence the long sleeves! (It's at least 90 degrees these days!)
These are some pictures I took while we were cooking dinner.
He loves playing with his dog blanket. (Thank you, Aunt Laurie!) Jarrod named him Juan.
Our criteria for animal names for Wesley's toys is that they have to be Bible characters, but they can be in other languages.

So far, we have Juan, Pedro, Bartimaeus, Tomas, and Mary. We definitely need more female animals!

Note: The blanket Wesley is on was made for him by his Aunt Courtney. It's a lego blanket and he loves it! 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May-de Up Recipe - Cheesy Bacon and Vegetable Pasta

In keeping with our use-the-pantry and make-up-recipes in May, I present to you this delicious pasta dish. We had left over pasta from something we made last month, heavy cream from Jarrod's Creme Brulee, Parmesan cheese, bacon, and a huge zucchini from someone's garden. I can definitely do something with that!

I decided to make a cream sauce with the bacon grease in place of butter, cream, and cheese. In the effort to keep it real, I'll tell you exactly how this dish went down...

While I drove home from work Jarrod chopped the bacon and cooked it until crisp, draining the fat as he went. Once the bacon was sufficiently brown, I was home and able to chop the zucchini. I quartered the zucchini and cut thick slices, adding them to the bacon. We cook our bacon low and slow, so the burner was about medium.
Once the zucchini was soft, I added the cream and reduced the heat slightly. We had about 1/2 cup left, but I adjusted the recipe because more would have been better. Want less fat? Use half & half or milk. We didn't have any of that, so I was stuck with cream. :-)
Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Mine was fresh grated, not shredded, but shredded would work just fine. Stir until combined and creamy. This is when I realized that I didn't add garlic. I chopped some garlic and added it. The smell was incredible!

At some point, Jarrod put the pasta on to boil. Once the pasta was done, we added it to the sauce and tossed to combine.
This is a delicious and easy dish. I didn't use enough cream, but with the proper liquid, this would be a slightly more creamy sauce. It was easy, delicious, and essentially free because I just used what we already had on hand!

Ingredients
5-6 slices of bacon
1/4 cup of grated parmsean cheese
3/4 - 1 cup heavy cream
1 large zucchini or other vegetables
2 cloves of garlic
Salt to taste

4 cups cooked pasta

Chop the bacon and cook until crispy in a large sauce pan. Drain fat so only 1-2 tablespoons remains. Add veggies and cook until slightly soft on medium to medium-high heat. Reduce heat and add cream and cheese. Stir to combine.

Add salt and garlic. Simmer on low. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat pasta with sauce. Serve hot.

I'm linking up with the Newlyweds!


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Monday, May 28, 2012

Frittatas and Faith

It doesn't happen very often, but here's a post from the Liturgy Nerd himself - Jarrod! We're enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day, giving thanks for our freedom and the folks who fought to ensure it. Please enjoy this recipe and story from the man behind the blog!  

The other night I was in kind of a goofy mood.  I do most of the cooking during the week because my wife's job gets out later during the week than mine and she has a bit of a commute on top of that.  But it had a been a long day and we didn't really have a plan for dinner like we usually do.  So I looked in the fridge, saw the leftovers and decided it was frittata night.  I then proceeded to to tell my wife that making a frittata kind of reminded me of how the church is made up. 

She laughed.

So I've taken it as a challenge to flesh out my idea, for better or worse.

First, it requires a recipe!

I love a frittata.  If you've never had one, it's essentially and open-faced omelet that you finish in the oven.  You can plan it out and make it fancy, or you can just look in the fridge at what you have and put it all together.  When I looked in the fridge I saw the following ingredients:
  • A package of sliced, thick-cut bacon.  Always buy thick-cut bacon.  Nothing else is worth it. (Any meat will do)
  • Some left over grilled veggies (potatoes, broccoli, squash, mushrooms, and onions) (you can use whatever left over or fresh veggies you want here!)
  • Eggs (I used 5)
  • 2 cups or so grated cheddar cheese (yes, I used all of it)
  • Salt, Pepper, and Chipotle Tabasco
Now for the steps!  Before you even get started, preheat the oven to 350, and get yourself an oven-safe skillet.  And make it non-stick, don't be a hero.

1)  Cut the bacon up into little pieces and put them in a cold skillet and bring it up to a little over medium heat.  The cold skillet is crucial ... It helps the fat render out without the bacon burning first.


2)  After the bacon has crisped up, you can drain some of the fat.  Or leave it in.  It's up to you!  At this point add in your veggies to saute up with the bacon.  My veggies this night were from grill packets we made earlier in the week, so they already had a lot of flavor from the grill.  While these are getting some color on them, whisk up your eggs.  Add to the eggs some salt and pepper, and I always add in Chipotle Tobasco.  It's not as spicy as the original Tobasco, and the smokiness from the chipotles is so, so good.  Go ahead and stir in some cheese too.


3)  When your veggies and bacon have come together nicely, stir in your eggs!  Make sure the bacon and veggies are distributed evenly throughout the eggs.  You better move fast, because the bottom will set up quickly.  When the eggs in the bottom of the pan have set up, top it all with more cheese and get it in the oven for about 10 minutes.


4)  When it looks all good and a little crispy on top, take it out of the oven and serve!  It should slide right out of the pan onto a platter.


It's like breakfast.  It's like an egg pizza.  It's also totally delicious.  This one was also made of left-overs, much like the church.

Ready for some God-talk, aka theology?

Here goes nothing.

Before Christ, the Kingdom was rather small.  God had chosen the descendants of Abraham to receive his favor and the people who became the Israelites were recipients of God's faithful covenant.  They would mess up a lot, but if we know anything about God, God keeps God's promises forever, so to those people was born the King, Christ Jesus.  But Christ didn't come into the world just to save the Jewish people, he came to save all peoples, the Gentiles, who through belief in Christ are no longer 'left-overs'.  How's that for the Gospel in a nutshell?

I looked in the fridge and saw a lot of ingredients that didn't mean a lot separately.  But cook them together, and something awesome could happen ... Similar to the church ... What is the church if it's not a whole lot of people put together to form a wonderful whole? 

I've thought about going on about who's what in my frittata, like, who's the bacon?  Jesus?  The Jews?  I'll let you fill that part in.  All I know is that both frittatas and the church are awesome.

The end.  See you next dinner!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

things i'm afraid to tell you


After my incredibly honest post yesterday, I'm sure it will surprise you that there are things I'm afraid to write about. There are several large topics I've completely avoided or only mentioned casually. I've thought about these things a lot, but last week I read this post which led me to this post and then this post. I decided to be part of the movement.
  • I have serious anxiety. I take a pill every morning and have for several years. I know I've had the problem for my whole life, but it wasn't diagnosed until about 6 years ago when I thought I was having a heart attack. I've wanted to write about it on here a lot, but haven't found the words. 
  • I was terrified about becoming a mom because I do not want the same relationship with my children as I have with my mother. Wesley will call me mama vs. mom for that reason. I have mom-baggage.
  • I could easily be a hermit. Jarrod says I'm less of an introvert than I think, but I could go for days without any human contact...Except for Wesley - he's a game-changer.
  • I have zero self-control. I cannot keep cookies in the house and have been known to hide them from myself in the freezer. We rarely keep junk-food in the house for this reason. I'd eat an entire package of oreos in an afternoon if I could.
  • I'll probably write a post about this sometime soon, but I desperately want to adopt a baby. Not today, but soon(ish). I've never really put that out there before. 
That's all I have today. I'm really not as artsy as the other folks who took this challenge. Perhaps that is another thing I should share. I'm not artsy. ;-) 
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vote For Wesley!

Our little man is adorable. Because everyone seems to think so, we've entered his picture in this contest. Help us win by clicking here and voting. You will need to set up an account, which is a bit of a pain, but once you've done that you can go back and vote everyday between now and June 18th!

Remember, you can vote EACH DAY for our little man. Want to vote for someone else? That's fine too!
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I don't have time

On my way to work the other day I heard a commercial for a weight loss surgery. Their hook was a woman explaining that she's a mom with a full time job and doesn't have time for diet or exercise. Dressed in my business best on my way to work with my breast pump in the passenger seat, having just said goodbye to my 4 month old, I laughed. Seriously? You don't have time for diet or exercise?

Perhaps I was cynical because I'd woken up before 6am to feed Wesley, walk 4 miles with the dog, shower, feed Wesley again, get ready for work, eat healthy breakfast of oatmeal and a green smoothie, and was in the process of driving 45 minutes to work. And it was only 8am!

I could easily say that I didn't have time to eat a healthy breakfast - making oatmeal, even the instant kind, takes time. Making my green smoothies, even when I make a big batch and freeze them, takes time. I could easily say I don't have time to exercise and sleep the additional 45 minutes. I could easily say that breast feeding is an inconvenience and give Wesley formula. I don't have time and sometimes the most healthy things take the most time. Doing things the long(er) way is inconvenient.

I had this blog post bouncing around in my head for days. I wondered how I could possibly write about this situation without sounding judgmental. I can justify occasional moments of weakness or chaos - skipping a workout or grabbing breakfast at Starbucks - but consistently making those choices will not produce a healthy life. And when life is busy, those once-in-a-while choices can quickly become habits if we aren't paying attention.

As these thoughts were fermenting in my brain, I read this post. I'm so far behind on my blog-reading, I even read it before I read the initial post to cause the response. I completely identify with Susan's judgment. I do too. Cloth diapering is hard, but so is having a child. Breast feeding is hard, but so is spending money on formula. Lots of things that are good for us are hard: waking up for church, reading the Bible, driving the speed limit, eating unprocessed foods, pumping, nursing, keeping a clean house, living on a budget, saving money, etc. But we do them because the payoff is worth it.

I, too, was convicted by Susan's friend's words:
But Susan, look at your life. You have a supportive husband, you have a mother who helps you out, you have enough money for a car, and a comfortable house, and all the things in it that you need. You have friends who bring over dinner when you're stressed and you could take an extended time off of work..... sure breastfeeding is really easy for some people, I would even say for most people it's easier than it was for you, but think.... if someone had as hard a time as you did breastfeeding and they had no one. nothing..... what then???
Yikes. I have a wonderful and supportive husband, a fantastic job, and a beautiful and healthy baby. I have a safe home, reliable vehicle, washer and dryer, and more than enough. I don't have friends who bring over dinner or a mother who helps out, but I do have friends, family, and a spectacular nanny. We are so blessed.

Because we are so blessed, I'm convicted to live in a way to not waste. We cloth diaper because we can and it's better for the earth. I breast feed because we can and it's better for Wesley, our wallets, and leaves formula for those who need it. We recycle, compost, and make our own laundry detergent. We live on a budget so that we can be good stewards of our financial blessings. We don't throw away food or drink bottled water, and eat locally when at all possible. We take the time to do these things because we can. I could make excuses, but for each excuse I make, I know 10 people with less money, time, and resources doing things much harder than I do.

I'm doing the best I can. At the end of my best days the house is clean, Wesley is clean and happy, and my head hits the pillow by 10pm all caught up on my Bible reading for the day. On my worst days I chug a glass of wine while eating a bowl of ice cream watching brainless TV after turning the monitor off so I can't hear Wesley's 8:30pm scream-fit and I go to sleep after reading a few verses, still a day or two behind. But I'm healthy, happy, and so is my family, so I am doing to keep doing the best I can.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My little helper

Wesley is quite the charmer. We're in a great phase - sleeping 10-12 hours at night and playing, giggling, and smiling a good bit of the day. On Sundays I spend several hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the week. This past Sunday I only had about 90 minutes at home during the day, so Wesley and I played in the kitchen together. I made a casserole, green smoothies for the week, and prepared Wesley's bottles for the first part of the week. While I cooked, Wesley played on a blanket in the kitchen.

He was an incredible distraction and I ended up taking about 50 pictures of him between doing the dishes, boiling the chicken stock, and blending fruits. I was going to include a few pictures of Wesley in my post about the casserole I was making, but ended up with way too many photos...Wesley needed his own post! 


 Wesley found his feet and before long I noticed he pulled his sock off. He thinks his feet are so interesting!

Wesley's smile is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. A giggle sometimes accompanies this smile. It's rare, but the most incredible sound on the planet.



Wesley has started sticking his tongue out. Jarrod and I fight about who he got that from - I think it was Jarrod! It's absolutely adorable.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May-de Up Recipe - Green Enchilada Chicken Bake

AKA why I am not a food blogger...But I'm still linking up anyway!

This month Jarrod and I decided to use what we had to save some money and create new recipes. Here's one of my creations.
I roasted a chicken earlier this month and we used the breasts for chicken salads - just some lettuce, veggies, and chicken. Delicious! For this chicken, I rubbed the whole thing in a rub of smoked paprika, salt, cumin, and black pepper. After waiting overnight, I cooked the chicken, let it cool, and took it apart. I froze the dark meat, made stock, and chopped the white meat. I had a rough recipe plan for the dark meat but didn't really decide what I wanted to do until this weekend.

We had a little bit of sour cream left from another recipe - it was about to go bad, so I knew that needed to be included. We had frozen black beans, corn meal, canned tomatoes and the dark meat chicken. I remembered this delicious recipe that utilizes corn meal to make polenta. I channeled this recipe for chicken and black bean green enchilada bake and decided to combine the best of both and give it a go!

Ingredients
6 cups chicken stock
1 3/4 cups corn meal
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups of cooked chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 can tomatoes - stewed, whole, mexican, whatever!
1 can black beans, drained (or 1 cup of cooked beans)
1 (15 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar
Because I had so much chicken stock, I decided to cook the polenta in chicken stock versus water. I used 6 cups of stock. Once it was boiling, I added the corn meal, whisking it as I added it. I added the salt to taste - actually, I added way too much salt...Fail.
While the polenta boiled, I mixed together the sour cream, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, beans, and chicken.
Because I purchased whole tomatoes I decided to squeeze them to properly mix them into the sauce.
Once the polenta was thick, I poured it into the casserole dish and popped it in the fridge to set.
Jarrod LOVES this smokey tabasco. I added a few drops to the mix... I also added a dash of cumin and chili powder. Once the mix was properly seasoned, I poured it on top of the firm polenta.
After I poured the mixture on the polenta, I topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Obviously we shred our own when we have time - I usually keep a big block on hand and shred as I go.
Pop that casserole in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees. Once the cheese is bubbly, it's ready to go! The casserole turned out a little more runny than I was expecting. I might omit the tomatoes next time - I'm not a huge fan of uncooked tomatoes and warming in the oven doesn't give much time for the "canned" taste to cook out.  
Overall, I give this recipe a B+...had the polenta not been over-salted. It was easy and the flavors were really delicious. Without the tomatoes I might give it an A-. I'm definitely not a food blogger...but that might be because while I was cooking, I had an incredible distraction...
Be sure to check back tomorrow to see more pictures of this handsome man!
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Classic Wesley - a video

Wesley is a very chatty kid. He makes new sounds every day. He has started laughing and giggling - almost always with his tongue out. Here's a video that's just classic Wesley. He'd already peed through one outfit and I didn't put another one on him. It was about 10am on Saturday morning. Here's our sweet man!


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Friday, May 18, 2012

Insurance, wills, and other grown-up things

This is a post about the importance of life insurance and a will. It's a boring, but very crucial topic. I apologize in advance that this is a fairly depressing and dry post. To keep it real, here's a sweet picture of my sleeping little man. (Don't worry - he was just napping, we were right there, and he was in our bed. His crib is completely empty and he only sleeps in our bed when we are right there.)

Shortly after Jarrod and I got married I insisted we purchase level term life insurance. We were young and both fairly established in our careers, earning a reasonable income. We had no debt outside student loans and no assets either. We each purchased $100,000 in 10-year coverage for about $250/year for both of us. We opted for 10-year knowing we'd have kids soon and need to cancel this insurance and increase the coverage amount. This insurance was grieving money more than anything else.

Prior to Wesley's birth, were Jarrod to die, his student loans would die too and I'd be debt free. I make enough money to support myself, but I felt I needed a safety net to handle burial expenses and grief. I felt that $100,000 was a good bit of money to buy time to travel, take off work, etc. It was inexpensive and perfect for our season of life. For a few hundred bucks a year, I had peace.
Then I got pregnant.
I insisted almost immediately that Jarrod switch his policy to 20-year level coverage at $400,000. I was irrationally terrified Jarrod would die and leave me a single mom without any assets. After Wesley was born I did the same (my coverage is $500,000). This way, if either of us were to pass, we could take that money, invest it, and essentially replace the lost income without ever touching the principle. If both of us were to die, Wesley would get $900,000 to cover his care. We purchase our insurance from Zander Insurance and have been very happy. We get a great rate and the process is simple. We pay less than $500/year for this coverage and it is worth every penny in peace of mind, if nothing else. I think it's the best money we spend all year. We make sacrifices in other areas to ensure that our future is cared for, this is just another element of that.
I know this is an incredibly morbid topic. I really hate it, but I know it cannot be avoided. Making these decisions is part of being a grown-up.
We opted for 20-year coverage, because - God willing - in 20 years our children will be mostly grown, our house will be paid for, we will be debt free, have an emergency fund, college funds, retirement accounts, and a significant chuck of cash. Heaven forbid one of us passes away after we turn 50, the other will, more than likely, be fine living on the wealth and income we have saved. If this is not the case, we will purchase additional term insurance at that time. We could have purchased 30-year coverage for slightly more but feel confident that in 20 years, we'll be more than set financially.

Wesley's arrival brought a whole new set of questions. While I was on maternity leave, I purchased a Last Will and Testament from US Legal Forms. It took me about 6 weeks to read through the documents. I cried a lot. I couldn't imagine losing my husband. I couldn't imagine Wesley losing both of his parents. Being a grown-up is so hard, but I wanted to ensure that those I love were cared for in the event of my passing.

On the way to Courtney and Philip's wedding, I had printed copies of the will for Jarrod and I to go over. While he drove I read over the documents and we made decisions. It's been nearly 2 months and while the will is complete, Jarrod hasn't proofed it so we can sign it, have it notarized, and make copies for all the necessary parties. I'm thankful we've made the decisions and am ready for him to sign off so we can officially file it and put this behind us.

Our will contains instructions for when Wesley will be eligible to receive our life insurance money, who will be appointed his guardians, and who will be the executor of our estate. Because life insurance passes outside of probate, we essentially have no estate right now. There is a section of the will dictating who will receive special items like jewelry, but other than that, we really do not own anything outside of our cars. The will exists primarily to be a legal representation of how we want Wesley cared for and what to do in the event of one or both of our deaths. Having a will prevents tension, disagreements, or our families wondering what we would have wanted.

Our will reflects the season of life we are in currently. As our wealth and family grows, our will will change to reflect that. Once we are own a home, we will begin saving for Wesley's college fund and our retirement. These assets will be included in our new draft of the will, as will any future children.

God willing, if we continue to live like we are, we will save quite a bit of money over our lifetime. It is important to us that this money is a blessing to others. Having a will can ensure that our passing will not create an unnecessary burden on our family. Losing a loved one is hard enough. I do not want to further hurt our family by passing without a will dictating Wesley's care and the distribution of our assets.

While I hate the responsibility that comes with adulthood, I do appreciate the peace that having this taken care of brings. I have a folder of organized copies of important documents, insurance information, and other necessary things in the event that Jarrod or I become incapacitated. I love my husband and my son too much to ignore this responsibility. I pray that these precautions are never needed.

How do you plan for the future? What efforts have you made to be sure your family is taken care of?
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Play Dates

Last week Wesley had two play dates on the same day! He's a very popular man with lots of friends! His first play date was with a sweet little girl who is just 3 weeks older than him. He loves the older women!

Sweet Hazel shared her playmat with Wesley. I took about 15 pictures, but they all looked strangely the same... The babies played really well together. They are still too little to really interact, but they did share toys and enjoy their playmat time together!

After playing with Hazel (and her brother who was napping!), Wesley and I drove to visit with our dear friends from Louisiana. We got to meet their sweet little girl. While she's gained a full 3 pounds since birth, she looked like a little peanut next to Wesley. I can't remember Wesley ever being that little! But he was! Here's a picture of Aunt Alina with Wesley.
We are so thankful to have such wonderful friends to love our sweet little man!
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