Halloween’s Past

My brain is toast for any normal blog posting today…where I type anything which would make sense.  And the other day I got to thinking back to what all the Kelley kids have been for Halloween in the past.  Then curiosity got the best of me because I couldn’t remember them all and then since I was sifting through all my digital picture love I thought I would just go ahead and share with the inter webs our Halloween past goodness.

2007.  Harper’s only only child Halloween.  Josh always calls her Hair Bear because she had so much hair when she was born.  Easy choice…bear.

2008.  Hudson enters the scene.  Harper was a dinosaur because she was obsessed with dinosaurs and Hudson was a turtle because well, it was funny.  I made both costumes from felt and cheap digs.

2009.  Solomon enters the scene and we found out about Hudson’s peanut allergy so they were peanut butter and jelly…again with the felt and hot glue costumes…and Harper was a butterfly princess…her choice of description.

2010.  Two old guys with mustaches because we were going to our nieces dress up party and had nothing else, so it stuck…and a bumble bee.

I could die from this picture of the boys.  Makes me cackle.

2011.  The year of the cat and Buzz & Zerg.

2012.  Amon enters the scene.  Super heroes are in full on obsession with everyone.  And clearly Amon had to be Superman.

2013.  Star Wars.  We had the perfect making for Obi Wan, Padme, Anakin and an Ewok.

No pictures yet, but this year we’ve got a witch, 2 ninjas and a baseball player.  We’ll be suiting up as soon as they hit the doors from school and getting our trick-or-treat on.  Crossing our fingers the rain will hold off.

Enjoy your weekend and Halloween/Fall fun.

Currently…

Listening:  A little old school Mat Kearney.  Ummmm, when he covers Breathe In Breathe Out…swoon city people.  Death by memories and a wonderfully sappy song.  Give me all the emotional songs…I love them all.

Eating:  Shockingly nothing as of this minute.  I will be taste testing some chocolate chip halloween cookies in a bit though. Yes they are the same chocolate chip cookies I’ve made a gazillion times and that I’ve already made once this week, but these have those eyeball rolos on them and yeah, I need to make sure they’re not poisonous.  It’s my public duty.

Drinking:  Agua.  Always and forever.

Wearing:  PJs.

Feeling:  A bit emotional.  I attended the funeral and burial of my friend’s dad today.  He’s buried in Mom’s cemetery so it was just all a bit surreal and bizarre.  I see and feel funerals so much differently now.  In a good way, but different.  And my heart just wants to crack in two for my friend.  Death blows, but thank God for Jesus and the cross.

Weather:  It was seriously the most perfect fall day.  Couldn’t have been prettier….crazy blue sky and trees on fire.

Wanting:  Crossing my fingers and toes a certain package I’ve been waiting for arrives tomorrow.  I have some birthday love to share and I need this package to appear tomorrow.  Today would have been even more awesome, but I’ll take tomorrow too.  Mom’s death has taught me holidays and celebrations are so much better when you share the love instead of keeping it all for yourself.  Go and love…the world needs more of it.

Needing:  Easily sleep.  Lots and lots of luxurious sleep.  Actually, any sleep will do.

Thinking:  A thousand things.  A string of thoughts…I wonder how much weight I’ve gained over the past few weeks from all my sweet emotional eating…I desperately wish I could remember more details about Mom’s death/funeral/burial because it’s mostly all a blur now…<—-how morbid and crazy am I…wish I was going to hit 50 miles running this month like I’d plan, but I’m coming up short…I love Halloween…I cannot believe November is here…I wonder when we’ll get “the call” because currently every time a strange number shows up on my phone my stomach churns…I want joy-lots and lots of joy…I should probably try a cookie now.

Enjoying:  Friends who can relate to grief.  There is a crazy comfort in people who are honest and real and just understand the suck-tasticness of losing a loved one.  Goh, you guys are never coming back tomorrow because of my rainbows and unicorns and lollipops…oh and death talk.  I know how to bring a room down :)

Also, answered prayers.  A friend got awesome news today…like something she and I have been praying for for so long and I seriously cannot quit thinking about how awesome God is…how good and merciful and gracious and loving.  Absolutely floors me.  Could not be more thankful for this answered prayer.

And that’s it. Just sitting in our kitchen floor waiting for the last pan of cookies to come out of the oven and then I am GOING TO BED!!!!  Bring on the sleep.  Give me all the sleep.

Peace.

Getting By {Halloween/Fall Edition}

Way busy crazy week.  I wanted to stop in and at least say hi yesterday, but alas, there was zero zero zero time.  From the minute we woke up, we hit the ground running and didn’t stop until 11ish last night.  Between Monday and yesterday I have baked 5 gooey butter cakes, a double batch of these chocolate chip cookies, whoopie pies and what I thought was a double batch of these snickerdoodle cookies, but after further review of the recipe I think lack of sleep got the best of me and I did not double it even though I thought I had…anyways, they are delicious.  And yes, I strayed from my normal family snickerdoodle recipe because when I saw “The Best Snickerdoodles” as the title of the recipe, I just had to try it.  I’m such a sucker for those claims…the best, world’s greatest, etc.  Happy to report they are super yummy.

Sidenote:  Funny story from a few years ago.  The chocolate chip cookie recipe from above is seriously my favorite.  My mom actually has a chocolate chip cookie recipe in our family cookbook, but right after she died I was feeling all mopey and wanted to bake something that was hers.  I went with her famous chocolate chip cookie recipe.  While crying and stirring and throwing a full on pity party for myself, I start adding the chocolate chips and caught a glimpse at the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag…same recipe.  My mom had swiped Nestle Toll House’s recipe and all these years I had thought she was the genius behind it.  I had a good laugh about it.  End Sidenote.

Halloween is Friday and it is one of my favorite holidays, but this year we just haven’t done much at all.  I mentioned a few posts back we only had one costume and am happy to report 3 out of 4 Kelley children now have costumes.  We’re getting there, we’re getting there.

Sol’s hands make me laugh so hard.

Hudson said he wanted to be a skeleton and I thought this was going to be his and Sol’s first year not to be a themed thing together…they have just always liked similar things, but when Hudson’s saw how muscley and “I’ll snap your neck silently in a dark alley way” Sol looked, he wanted in on that.

It kind of made me secretly really happy.  Hudson and Solomon have been peanut butter and jelly, two old guy with mustaches, Buzz and Zerg, Batman and Green Lantern and last year Obi Wan and Anakin.  I should really dig all those pictures out for you to see…the best!

I also am in charge of fun Halloween cookies and cupcakes for Harper, Hudson and Solomon’s classes on Friday.  I needed something super quick and then remembered something I had seen on Pinterest a while back…didn’t even pin it, but I really think it was from there…just rolos and candy eyes.  That’s it.  Boom.  Done.  They are seriously the easiest cookie and cupcake toppers ever.  And the kids loved them.

(Joanns has candy eyes all year long.)

And I do really like friends who say “We haven’t done a thing festive for fall or Halloween either…want to come over and carve pumpkins?”  Why yes, yes we do.  So we headed over Saturday night to our friends’ house.  We stuffed our faces with Mexican food, dug out pumpkin guts, carved crazy boy drawn faces with a jig saw…using a jigsaw to carve your pumpkin = genius…and painted our hearts out.  Pretty sure Harper, Ashley and I enjoyed ourselves more painting our pumpkins than anyone else.

Now all I have to do is figure out what Amon will be for Halloween.  I was thinking Michael Jackson or Prince or a purple minion, but now, now my brain is gone and I’m thinking we’ll just let him wear Solomon’s baseball uniform and call it a wrap.  We shall see.

Have a great rest of the day and happy Wednesday.

One Of Those

It’s one of those weeks where I already waved my white flag…yesterday.  One of those weeks where you let go of unrealistic expectations for yourself and you go ahead and swallow your pride and ask for help and accept the fact you and your family will probably eat far too much fast food this week and see each other less than usual and your normal routine will be tossed out for the week.  One of those weeks where you let your toddler play with the nail clippers because A) It’s keeping him busy and quiet and B) As long as he can’t get them open surely he won’t cut his own toe off.  And by letting it go…by already surrendering it up…I feel freer already.

I sat last night with friends who experienced great loss this weekend.  I have not cried that hard in a long time.  You know the cry…the one which leaves you red faced, head throbbing and flecks of tissue paper scattered on your face.  I studied my friend’s face over and just soaked it in and her look of surrender…of shock…of “what the hell just happened”.  And we spoke life into her and her husband, even though my life words are so different now.  They are…I’ll never say I know how you feel because I don’t…and…I’m just so sorry…and…this totally sucks…and…life won’t be the same, but God will…and…I love youand…do you want another whoopie pie :)  Those are life words now after experiencing grief.  I refuse to candy coat and say I get it because even still I just don’t…and that’s okay.  What we need is honesty and we need to be willing to stand in the gap for one another in the crappiest of times.  We need to commit to spurring one another along in love.  We need people to be the hands and feet of Jesus…and offer up His love and empathy…not fancy words and unrealistic notions and saying things you don’t really mean or plan on following through with.  I believe we serve a God who wants us as we are in every season and emotion…whether it be anger or bitterness or disbelief or doubt or just flat out defeated.  He wants and loves us as is.  He understands how hard this life and this world can be.

You know it’s a crazy week when you kick your Monday off with speech therapy and then baking 5 gooey butter cakes.  I’m such an emotional eater and by default I automatically assume baked goods are everyone’s love language.  When something like this weekend happens I immediately get time warped back to my Mom’s crazy week.  All the ups and downs, but God has been so faithful to remind me He did not leave me where I was.  I told my friend that last night.  Oh my goodness how bad it is going to suck and hurt and for a long time, but…but, one day you will be able to look back and see how He never left and how He nudged you, pushed you and carried you through what Satan had planned for destruction, but thank God…He is the King of Kings…and He had another plan.

As I stirred gooey butter cake batter after gooey butter cake batter after gooey butter cake batter I looked around and realized I am slowly turning into my mother…kitchen a wreck, powdered sugar strewn all over my counter, butter everywhere.  Tending to hearts by way of 9×13 pans.  And all I could think about was God’s written words to us in Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

Those words are not empty.  Those words are not meaningless.  They are truth and life and game changers.  They are God’s words to us…His testament…His promises…He will not leave you where you are.

InstaFaves

A little Friday roundup of some of my favorite instagram photos as of late.  You can find me at pitterpatterart to follow along.  Some may not be on Instagram now that I looked back at them, but still my faves.

Nosey.

Truth.

Big Daddy.

Memories.

Determined.

Fire-starters.

Happy flags.

Orders.

Still happens. (every now & then)

Thanks for stopping by and reading.  I appreciate you like craziness.

Enjoy your weekend.

Happy Friday.

11 Things at 10pm

1.  Halloween is in 8 days and we have 0 costumes.  We might just call the whole thing off even though it’s one of my most favorite holidays.  Actually, I take the 0 costumes back because I just remembered Harper has a hand-me-down witch dress.  And sadly, Hudson has moved on past the sheet ghost costume.  I really wanted that one to stick.

2.  Today we got papers which officially made Amon, well, Amon.  He’s bonafide now…Amon Henry Berhane Kelley.  He’s legit.  Only took us a little over 2 years…ha.  We celebrated with Chick-fila for dinner.

3.  Last night Amon was seriously up all night long because he was scared of…wait for it…a snake.  Some of you may remember this video.  I hated myself last night.  I’m exhausted and all night he insisted there was a snake in his bed.  At one point I went in the boys room and he had removed everything from his bed and was just standing there saying “nake, nake, nake.”  I told him there were no snakes in his bed, then started putting everything back in his bed.  Out of no where in the pitch black, Hudson leans over from the top bunk and says, “Mom, I know we can’t take candy from strangers, but what about from Mrs. Hughes?”  Wow.  This is Hudson’s little mind at 3am.  And Mrs. Hughes is his sweet teacher.  I die.

4.  I got out bid on this really awesome tin of 3 different kinds of popcorn in the auction for Jude last night.  I was seriously bummed.  Who knew a tin of popcorn could have such a powerful affect on me.

5.  I might have officially heard enough people make snide remarks about Title 1 public schools.  Our school this year is amazing…and awesome…and diverse…and full of the most special, smart and unique kiddos…and has crazy awesome teachers and staff…and it’s a Title 1 school.  I honestly could not be more happy with where are kids are going to school.  We want community.  We were created for community.  And it’s truly beautiful.  We’re honored to be apart of this school…a total privilege.

6.  Have you heard of Pura Vida bracelets?  My friend Dana passed along their site and here is yet another company giving back.  Love it..and you know I’ll support an arm party any day of the week.

7.  I want joy.  I want so much joy in Christ I just cannot keep it in.  This has been on my heart like crazy.  Being so filled up with Him.  Being so bright…so different…the world can’t help but wonder why.  And then they will see it’s all because of Jesus.  I long and desire for this…for God to absolutely consume every thought, action, word…my entire life.

8.  Finished this book and wow…that’s just about all I can say…and read it!!!!!!

9.  I’ve kind of been on this old school memory lane dessert kick lately.  Chocolate chip cookies, whoopie pies.  Now all I’ve been thinking about is Bunny’s Cake and Gooey Butter Cake.  You guys…this is going to have to happen.  Do me a favor and just pick one…either one…make it, eat it, share it, enjoy it!  You’ll thank me later.

10.  How much do I love watching them play baseball?  A lot!  How much do we all enjoy being at the ballpark?  A lot.  I think it’s just in our blood.

And 11.  I keep asking when we’re going to party?!?!?!?!

Now I really should go to bed.  I’m crossing my fingers there will be no snakes in Amon’s bed tonight.

Peace out!

Go And Love

Go and Love.  So simply put.  3 little words.

I “met” Amy via the wild interwebs a while back when she and her family were on their journey to adopt and my oh my have they been on quite the journey.  My heart absolutely went out to Amy and her family because the adoption process can just be straight up hard on your heart some times.  It’s crazy awesome and rewarding and our socks have been blessed right off, but the process and the wait and all the unknowns and uncertainties…well, sometimes it was just really hard on this momma’s heart.  And I can’t even begin to imagine how Amy has felt, but there is something pretty special about people rallying together to support and encourage and love one another.

So today on Instagram at auctionforjude there are so many fun things up for auction all to help the Jupin family as they get ready to travel to meet Jude.  I was thrilled when Amy asked me to help out and I was able to do so.

Up for grabs is this 6×6 “Go and Love” canvas.  Starting bid is just $25 and all to help come along side the Jupin family.  It’s a win/win.

Head over HERE and get in on all the fun action.  I might have already bid on a giant tin of popcorn because I CRAZY LOVE POPCORN.

Hope you all have an awesome day and get out there in the world today…go and love!

Happy Wednesday.

Banana Bread Jars

I had no intentions of doing a post on my banana bread jars, but when you post a picture on instagram and people ask, well, you give them the answer…in blog post form.  It’s what I do.

Every week I make baked goods to share.  I like baking.  I like homemade sweets and treats.  And I think other people do to   This is something I can do to show love to people in our community.  Some I know, some strangers…either way I am a firm believer that baked goods can change the world.

Cue the banana bread jars.  My cousin Rebecca taught me a long time ago that when your bananas go bad and you can’t use them immediately just put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them.  I’ve been using her trick ever since.  Yesterday I decided to finally use up the 6 black bananas in our freezer.

Fall is officially here and the weather is magnificent and banana bread and all sorts of chilis are on my mind…weird combination I know, but goh!!!!!  I just love banana bread and any type of chili.  So yesterday I got to baking.  I made our family a regular loaf for breakfast and then decided to bake some mini loafs in small mason jars.  This is so crazy easy and it’s one of my most favorite ways to share cakes and breads.  I always have these small jars on hand and it’s a really simple process.

I always…I repeat always…use my Aunt Betty’s banana bread recipe.  Our family has our own cookbook and if there is a recipe for whatever and it’s in our family’s cookbook, that typically is the recipe I use.  Not only is it nostalgia, but it’s also a part of my legacy.  I love using my MawMaw’s and my Mom’s and my Aunt’s recipes…I love our family’s recipes.  Plus everything the Halls make is delicious.

To make 12 small jars I double this recipe.  And my Mom taught me when I made banana bread for the first time not to measure out 1 cup of banana puree, but instead just always let 1 cup banana = 2 bananas.  So I never measure out smashed up bananas, but I digress.

Once everything is all mixed up, I grease each jar with a little spray oil and then spoon in two large spoonfuls filling the jars about 1/2-1/3  full.  I sit the jars on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 40 minutes.  My oven does burn a little hot so you may need a little longer, but not much.

 

I let them cool a bit and then screw the tops on.  It’s fine if they’re still a little warm.  I like to cut squares of fabric and put that between the seal and the rim.  This just makes them a little more colorful and fun especially to give to people.

And there you have it.  Not rocket science at all…super easy…really fun…and a great little something to make someone’s day a little better…a banana bread encouragement.

I really wasn’t planning on blogging this…hope I didn’t leave anything important out…if you have any questions just leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them.

Happy Monday!

PS:  Since I mentioned chili, I had to share this Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili.  It’s ahhhh-mazing.  Made it last night for dinner.  I did go a little rogue though.  I actually already had chicken cooked up, so I skipped the all day crockpot thing and just combined the crockpot ingredients in a pan.  I also winged it on a few ingredients and it was still super good.  I used almond milk instead of milk, just crushed up one chicken bullion cube, didn’t have any white pepper so skipped it, no cayenne pepper so I used chipotle chili pepper and I used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  And everyone devoured it…minus Amon, but he’s a crazy toddler.

Now go make banana bread and chili.