we've moved!

If you're still finding me here or just stumbling upon this site...  come on over to www.sweetannas.com and see what's new!

Update your links/blogrolls if they're still bring you here.  I won't be posting here anymore after this.

Love you all, friends!


31 days of letters (day 8) a letter to my blog…

Ok, I know I’m pushing the ‘family’ thing here...  but after this long week of no blog, I am realizing that this blog, and you guys, are more family to me than I ever realized.

I missed you.  All of you.

I missed writing, pouring out my heart, and knowing that at least 1 or 2 people cared enough to read along.

I missed sharing the exciting things I find in my kitchen, knowing that a few of you might be encouraged to try something new in yours.

I missed this place, this little corner of the interwebs that I call home, this part of me that in some ways is like another child that I have birthed.

And for a good few days I was afraid I had lost it all.  A little dramatic, maybe, but I will sleep better when everything is secure and running smoothly again in it’s new home.

I think I have lost more sleep over this blog in the last week than I have because of my tiny baby! :o)

Thanks for being more patient than I am…. I’ll be back soon.  Very soon, I hope!


31 days of letters (day 7) a letter to my daughter... when you're a teenager...

You are kind.  You are smart.  You are important.  (If you’ve never read or seen The Help, you need to go do that right now). 

You are so much more than our broken world leads you to believe.  You are more than just beautiful. More than just a pretty face on a pretty frame.  You are a princess.

God’s princess.  As a child of the King, you are a princess, and as such, you are a valuable, precious treasure to Him and all of us who love you.

You are special.  And you are perfect, just the way you are.

Your heart matters more than your jeans size.  Your kindess matters more than your hair.  Your generosity matters more than your style.

I am so proud of you, sweet daughter friend.  I am so incredibly blessed to be your mom and I am honored to walk this tough road of moving from childhood to adulthood with you.

I know you probably think I’m old and oblivious, but I promise you that I know what it’s like to be a teenager.  I know what it’s like to love and lose and to laugh and hurt.

I know what it’s like to feel broken, and like noone could ever understand what you are feeling.  I have been there, and I will always be here for you.

You are my heart, my daughter, and I have been praying for you since long before you were ever born.

I love you, sweetheart.


31 days of letters (day 6) a letter to my dad...


I know we have not always seen eye to eye, and probably in a lot of ways because we can both be so stubborn, but I am so glad I am your daughter.

You are a kind, generous, loving man...  and such an amazing Grandpa.

Watching you love on my kids makes me so proud to have you in their lives.  We brag about you often.

Your selfless, always playing, always going, "more again grandpa!", long walks, phone-sharing self brings my children so much happiness.

You are one of the biggest joys in their lives and they talk about you all the time.  I'm pretty sure rarely an hour of their lives goes by without at least a passing thought of you.

I only wish we lived closer so they could have more than just weekends here and there full of grandpa-time!

Thank you for being such a light in our life.  Thank you for being the best Grandpa I could have ever dreamed for my kids!


31 days of letters (day 5) a letter to myself... the me who is a mom

Dear me-who-is-now-a-mom,

I know this life is not exactly what you expected or planned.  The everyday is not all the fun and games you had dreamed of, and many days have much more hard than easy.

You are in Holland.  You thought you were going to Italy, but it turns out your plane ended up in Holland instead.  (Please read this poem.  It's beautiful!)

Italy would have been great, and you had big plans there, but you know what?  Holland is beautiful too.  Holland is joyful, and Holland is exactly where you belong.  Holland is home.

It's OK to be a little bit sad about not going to Italy, but it's not OK to stay sad or to wallow.  Holland is here to stay and you need to love it as much as you loved the idea of Italy.

You will never regret deciding to love this place you are in.  You will be a stronger woman for it.

You can do this.


31 days of letters (day 4) a letter to my mom...


I don't think I ever really knew the depths of your heart until I had a child of my own.  The first time you had to leave us after Bjørn was born, I wept.  All of a sudden I knew exactly how deep your love for us is, and I hated watching you leave.

I have always known that you love me.  I have always cherished our relationship.  But I never fully understood that mama-love until I had children of my own.

I would die for my children, in a heartbeat.  I would give my lung, my kidney, my bone marrow, my blood...  whatever they needed I would give them!  And I know you would do the same for us.

Such a crazy, intense, mind-blowing love this is.  And I don't think any child can really understand it until they become a parent themselves.  I might even go so far as to say only a woman, only a mom, can fully understand the depths of that love.

The intensity of feeling a baby grow and kick and move inside of you and watching them enter this world from your body.  Of knowing that they were prayed for and desired and brought forth through blood, sweat and tears.  The insanity of sleepless newborn nights and fussy baby days...  crazy toddler years and dramatic teenage tears.

All of it wrapped in a fog-like blanket of love.  A blanket that covers all the hard times and erases them ever so gently from our memories so that when we look at our 2 year olds and dream of another baby, we have already forgotten the pain of childbirth and the difficulty of seemingly-endless sleepless nights.

And then we love them through the growing years.  We watch them slowly find their own footing in life.  We love and pray and hold on to their little hearts as tight as we can, and yet at the same time we have to let go as they step away a tiny bit farther every day until they are grown, and completely separate.  Walking away and then coming back as friends.

Peers.  And yet still children.  Blood of my blood.  Heart of my heart.  That same deep, all-consuming mama-love.  Never changing.  All-consuming.  Wow.

I love you mom.  More than I ever knew I did before I became a mom myself!


31 days of letters (day 3) a letter to my husband...

My love,

You are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Without you, I don't know where my life would be today.  This little (or not so little!) family we have created together is everything I had ever hoped for and more.  I can't imagine life without any one of you in it, and I thank God every day for you.

I am so looking forward to these next 50+ years together, Lord-willing, and I can't wait to see our future as it unfolds each day!

I know we have our moments sometimes...  and we don't always see eye-to-eye...  but we always find our way back to the love that brought us to where we are today, and come out stronger on the other side.

We are deep in the middle of a tough season right now.  Life is beautiful, but life is hard.  We are sleep-deprived and heart-exhausted with all these littles needing our every breath...  and it seems we rarely find time for each other.

But this is just a season, best friend husband, and before we know it we will have all the time in the world for each other and we will miss the chaos that is our life right now.

Thank you for taking such good care of us, My Love.  Thank you for working so hard to provide for this family of ours and for letting me stay home where my heart is.

You are such a great father and husband, and I love walking through this life with you by my side!



31 days of letters (day 2) a letter to my daughter...

My sweet Baby Girl,

Someday you won't be my baby girl anymore.  (Although you will always be my baby.)

Before we even know it, you will be a rambunctious toddler, a playful preschooler, an awkward tween, an overly-confident teen...  I don't even want to think about how fast this time will fly!

For now, you are my tiny little baby girl.  You are barely 2 months old and your favorite thing in the world is to snuggle in my arms.

No, I am not naïve enough to think that will always be your favorite thing.  But, I pray every day that you will always remember that favorite place...  even when you can't seem to reach out and find it.

Always remember how safe, protected, comforted and loved you are in my arms, sweet girl.  Always remember that I am here for you.  That I will always be here for you.  Always.

I love you sweet girl.  So much.

dairy-free corn chowder

Creamy, rich, bacon-y, comforting...  delicious corn chowder, with no dairy in it!!

I am not eating dairy right now.  Hopefully just for one month, but maybe for the duration of Sweet Girl's nursing time...  we'll see.

Anyways, I have been craving all things dairy, of course, and I was so excited when my sweet friend Amy shared her dairy-free corn chowder recipe with me!  (Which, I believe, is a variation of her just-as-sweet mom, Dawn's, regular corn chowder.)

I was nervous, to say the least, but I trust Amy and I knew she would not steer me wrong.  (And she didn't!  This was delicious and SO rich and creamy tasting!) 

I changed things up a bit, of course, but the credit still fully goes to Amy, since I would have never tried making a dairy-free chowder without her help!

Thanks Amy!

Dairy-Free Corn Chowder Recipe
serves 4-8

1 pound bacon, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 baked potatoes, peeled & diced
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 cups chicken stock
2 cans cream-style corn
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 teaspoons chipotle or cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons masa harina (corn flour), optional
1-2 green onions, sliced, optional

In a large dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until nice and golden.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, turn the heat up a little higher and then dump in the onions and celery, sautéing until soft.  Stir in the garlic for a few seconds, and then stir in the potatoes and let them brown for 5 minutes or so.

Dump in the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved bacon, and stir well to combine.  Heat to just a light boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or longer.

A few minutes before serving, mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of cold water.  Slowly drizzle this mixture into the soup, while stirring constantly, and then continue to simmer for a few minutes until the soup has thickened to your liking.  (Stir in the masa harina now too, if you are using it!)

Serve with a bit of extra bacon and green onions for garnish, if you'd like!


31 days of letters (day 1) a letter to my sons...

My sweet boys,

You are such a joy to me.  So rough, so tough, yet so quick to give me a hug, a kiss, an "i love you" when you're in the mood...  & sometimes even a snuggle.  I  can't imagine my life without you.

You made me "Mom"!

You were so wanted.  So prayed for, so loved.  Long before you were ever knit together, you were wanted.  I always knew that I wanted boys first.  That I wanted you all to have each other.

I love that my boys have brothers.  I love that you have each other to play with, fight with, laugh with, grow with...  and I pray every day that you will be best friends as you grow and all through your lives.

God gave you to each other and I am so excited to watch you all grow up together.

There will be fights.  There will be days, maybe even weeks that you don't think you even like each other.  But you know what?  In your hearts you will always love each other.  And one day, you will not be able to imagine your lives without those best friend/brothers by your side.

I pray that you will always stay close.  That you will always be there for each other...  through thick and thin.  I pray that you will find wives, if God leads you to them, that will be friends and learn to love each other, so that you can enjoy that journey of your lives together also.

And I especially pray that as you grow...  as we all walk through this journey...  that you will always know how much your dad and I love you.  How much we care about you and how much you mean to us.

You mean the world to us, my sweet boys.

Grow up to be strong men in this life you are traveling.  Be strong, stand firm and follow what you know to be true.  Don't be swayed by the 'everyone else's...  just because they are doing it, saying it, believing it, doesn't make it right.

And even when you think we are old farts who don't know anything...  remember...  we've been there.  And we love you.  So much.

Related Posts with Thumbnails