The Caramel Glaze Pumpkin Pound Cake Adventure

Wednesday after work i knew i needed to get started on making the cake I was baking for Thanksgiving Dinner. I gathered all of the required ingredients and stood there looking at them for a moment.

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It was a little daunting since I’ve never made the recipe before, had to gather my thoughts. It honestly was not so bad. And goodness did it start smelling good in the kitchen with all the cinnamon, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla in the air!

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I was making progress and moving right along. Yay!

I did learn butter, sugar, and eggs start developing a cake batter substance that just needed flour and flavoring. Good to know for future endeavors.

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I was nervous for a moment when the timer went off and the cake wasn’t done. After adding an additional 5-7 minutes a few extra times, it came out perfect. Don’t you think?

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Okay, I know something happened that looks like it is the victim of a back alley cutting, but I was still pretty proud!
The caramel glaze waited until Thanksgiving morning. It only took about 20 minutes to make. The cake turned out really great! Every one loved it.

pumpkin cake

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Holiday spent with your loved ones.

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The latest of many firsts: Baking for family Thanksgiving dinner

Oh. I guess I forgot the part where I’m an adult now and I’m supposed to contribute to the food supply at the family Thanksgiving get-together. No, honestly, it never crossed my mind that I am 23 years old and have always arrived at my grandmother’s house with my mother and all of the food she made. So when my grandmother asked me, “Hey, I have everyone’s food items they’re bringing next week, what are you planning to bring?” I literally had no answer off the top of my head. I wish I had some quick reply similar to, “You know, that awesome dish that everyone loves that I always bring, of course.” HA.

I told her I would have to get back with her. I literally had no idea. All the basic things were already being provided along with a few specialty casseroles and other foods. What the heck was I going to bring? Paper plates? I have too much pride.

I went home that night and dug through a folder/stack of recipes (half of which I have yet to attempt) and found a recipe for Caramel Glaze Pumpkin Pound Cake. The recipe is completely homemade. Let me make a list of the amount of homemade cakes I have baked in the last 23 years:

*cue crickets beginning to chirp*

Exactly. It’s not that I cannot cook or that I am a bad cook. (I don’t understand how you can be a horrible cook if you just cook whatever YOU like.) I’ve made homemade blueberry muffins with amazing blueberries from our local farmer’s market! My pink-dyed pancakes have resulted in squeals and giggles throughout breakfast. I can run a grill and fry up some pretty darn good homemade fried chicken fingers. But, baking. Let us just all agree that baking is not in my list of natural instincts, talents, or abilities. If it comes with a box, directions, and requires 2 eggs and cooking oil, then you can call me Master Chef. Hey, it was made at my home and not bought at the grocery store bakery. That’s homemade. (;

Tomorrow night I will jump head first into my first ever truly home made cake. Cross your fingers.

My baking pride is at stake.

If this turns out successful, I need someone to buy me a really cute apron for Christmas.

“Mommy, will you marry my daddy?”

Well this past weekend was definitely one to write on the calendar!! Saturday was a pretty normal day of wrapping a few Christmas gifts and staying in from the cold. Sunday morning our daughter and I took a small road trip with my grandparents for the day. After we returned home around 2 p.m. we spent the day being lazy. Coloring, watching movies, a little cleaning up here and there.

Around 6 p.m. I noticed that my boyfriend comes out of the bathroom from getting a shower and he is dressed in a nice polo that is tucked in, no hat, etc. This is weird for him because I’ve only seen him wear the shirt he had on to church or to dinner. I felt a little suspicious. Then he says, “Hey, I’m going to run to the store.” Uh huh. Well whatever, I just go about my business of cleaning, coloring, and occasionally scanning through Twitter. An hour later I get a text that says, “Hey I’m going to stop by Dad’s. I’ll be home in a few.” What? You cannot seriously have still been at the store this long, surely you are already at your dad’s and staying a little longer?

Time rolls on, he gets home and we are doing our normal family routine things, and he “needs to go get his jacket from his truck.” Our daughter asks to go with him so he puts shoes on her and out the door they go. I am in the kitchen heating up food and washing a few dishes. When they come in the back door I turn toward them, and in her sweet little voice our daughter says, “Mommy will you mawwy my daddy??!” I look at him and he is grinning. I look back at her and she is holding this small box. Needless to say, I may have cried a little! After hugging and kissing on HER, I did finally tell him yes!! I loved the privacy of it and how it was so “us.” There was no pressure doing it in front of random strangers at a restaurant or any of that stuff, which is something that I will never understand.

So here we are on our latest adventure! Planning a wedding. Ha! More like here I am on my newest adventure while he agrees with whatever I pick and even said, “you just tell me what you picked, when I should show up, etc. Just get my opinion on the price of things.”

Do you have a great engagement story to share? Do you prefer privacy or some big get away for the big question?

**Also, I will note that I later found out he went by his dad’s house so that he could show the ring to his two older brothers and tell them about it. (I date the baby in the family). And that he and Khloe had to practice what she was supposed to say for a little while because, after all she is two years old, and was getting the words jumbled around. How sweet!!!

I have forever been changed.

Talk about a life change

I was 20 years old when I had our daughter (don’t roll your eyes like I’m “one of those girls”). Even though having her at that time was unplanned, I’m glad it worked out this way.

It was a blazing summer day in June 2010 when I found out I was pregnant, and I promise I will never forget it. I will admit I had myself the biggest pity party you will ever see. Looking back I am so embarrassed, but I can laugh about it now. There’s a few reasons for my meltdown, none were because I was a totally horrible person and hated the thought of a baby.
1. The week before I found out, I had mailed my signed lease and deposit for an apartment at the college I was attending at the time. (A little FYI on lease contracts in college towns, even my death could not have gotten my family out of the responsibility of my lease!) So I could either pay off the 12 month lease or take by butt back to Troy… All I have to say is, Go Trojans!

2. I had two years left in college; therefore, no I was not working a full-time job with the income to provide for a child. I made and spent money like every other college student. This amounted to a lot of stress over the next few weeks, ahem, months. I didn’t let myself remember, “oh yeah, her daddy works a full-time job. PEOPLE SURVIVE ON LESS, CINDY.” Lesson has been learned, by the way.

3. I have this completely southern family who holds strong to their beliefs there is only one way you should do life: school, college/employment, marriage, children. Of course, they did not expect any of that to happen immediately or in a certain time frame, just in that order. It does not matter who you are or where you are from, no one wants to disappoint the people who loved them and raised them. I waited an entire month before I told my mom. It was October before I told my dad and his family, I knew it was a girl by then! No one screamed or yelled or even cried, and no one killed me. How amazing! Again, I say I can now laugh at how ridiculous I was. The reasoning for my fears was a tiny bit justified when I had a great-aunt who was very upset and a slight bit tiffed when she learned we did not plan to get married just because I was pregnant. She did, however, mail a nice check as my baby shower gift and a slightly cold letter reminding me that our family had always finished college and was happy to give suggestions on the type of career I should now choose so that I could stay home with my children. There are a few things that Southerners feel strongly about, especially the older generations, and I had found myself in the middle of one. (Just an update: When I graduated August 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree, I ran my photo and announcement in the town newspaper where my great aunt and that side of the family lives. A little childish? Eh, maybe.)

And for the record, yes I did finish college, albeit a year late with a struggling 3.05 GPA, full time job and a 2 year old, but dang it I finished. I had transferred to a local college at home after spending a semester in Troy pregnant. Those adventures will have to wait for another blog at another time.

Needless to say, I had the most amazing and beautiful daughter and she has grown into the smartest two year old. (No bias included in that statement.) Watching and helping her grow has completely changed me. I look at the world different. I see opportunities and choices in a different light. I cannot remember making a single decision within the last two and a half years that I didn’t contemplate the effect or involvement of her. Like, who am I? I will admit I had pretty selfish intentions about every decision I made until she was born. I’ve never felt more joy in my life than when I look in her face and her eyes glow about whatever subject she is obsessed with at the moment. Last night she jumped up and down in the kitchen because she saw the pan of chicken fingers and french fries cooking in the oven. (No, I do not need lessons on healthy food for my child. Thanks, though.) If you have never cooked your toddler chicken fingers and french fries from a bag in your freezer, well shame on you because I just won Mother of the Year for it while standing in my kitchen.

I know that I am constantly teaching and influencing her, but she is also teaching me. Every day I learn patience, understanding, forgiveness, kindness, the list could go on. I have never heard a child say “thank you” as much as my daughter does. She even says thank you for a happy meal toy out of the bag! I am forever thankful for her beautiful light in my life. She inspires me to continue on when I face a struggle. Her innocent heart blesses me every time she opens her mouth and asks a question.

I took her to church with a friend of mine who’s daughter is the same age. That afternoon, while getting ready for nap time I heard her in the next room singing, “Jesus loves me this my know. For the Bible tells me so.” I had tears in my eyes. From one visit in Sunday School class, she could sing the song. A week later we were sitting at a red light and I look back at her, she has her hands together and her head bowed saying, “Thank you for my Daddy. Thank you for my Mommy. Thank you for my friends. Thank you for my food. Amen.” I’ve never had my heart more touched than in that moment sitting in traffic. She is making me into a better person and she does not even realize it. When I lie down tonight, I will make sure that I say a special thank you for the child who saved me from my ugly, selfish self.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dainty Way Photography

First Blog EVER!

I thoroughly enjoy reading blogs and subscribing to blogs that interest me; however, I never considered blogging to be “for me.” And then, one afternoon I was sitting at work and thought, “huh, I want to give that a try.” Here we are two days later working on my first blog for the cyber world.

I am a mother to a very energetic, non-stop 2 year old. She amazes me every day with her intelligence and can often make me question my own. Ha! I work a full-time career outside of the home, and have taken the struggle of being begged to stay home in stride; that is when I discovered our amazing preschool, and she goes to “school” while mom goes to work. It works for us.

When we aren’t at work and school, my daughter participates in Youth Rodeos that occur monthly from April – September; we do play-dates; she would ride her welsh pony until the horse couldn’t walk; we have arts & crafts time; and then, well we have sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-disney-jr-until-bedtime nights. Hey, we try to be super parents, but we are human.

Through this blog, I hope to share our adventures of life and parenthood along the way. I cannot promise some divine inspiration at all times, but I promise they will probably be entertaining for the most part. If you’d like, follow along for the ride. (:

Marriage Isn’t For You

I absolutely love this! Saw it a few days ago and cannot help but share.

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

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