Tuesday, August 6, 2013

{the most wonderful bread EVER}

i have been in a battle lately.  i want to feel like a real woman, and in my strange mind, a real woman is one who can make bread from scratch.  the past few weeks, i have lost.  between unrisen (read DENSE) bread and pizza, my poor husband ate some pretty rough dinners.

in my hate for yeast, i started adding 'easy' to my bread searches.

glory be, i found one!  and i will continue to make this bread weekly.  #1- it is cheap. it literally has 4 ingredients. #2- it is easy. mix and let sit for 12-18 hours (so the only downside is it requires a bit of planning, but the upside is it requires little skill baking typically requires). #3- it looks super impressive when you're done, and tastes great too!!!!

ok. so here's your instructions.

mix 6 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of yeast, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 2 2/3 cups of cool water (hallelujah i don't have to figure out what temperature makes yeast happy!).  just mix everything together and cover it with plastic wrap and leave it on your counter for 12-18 hours.  after it's sat a good long time, use flour and cover your hands and a surface and kneed it a bit, working it into a ball.  let that sit on a floured towel *not terrycloth (unless you want a massive mess) and cover with another towel for 1 1/2 hours. in the last 30 minutes, put a cast iron pot (make sure your lid is oven safe) in a cold oven and preheat to 425.  when the oven is preheated, take your pot out, dump your dough in, being careful of flour flying everywhere, and bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes.  uncover and bake another 5-15 minutes, depending how brown you like your bread.  take the bread out of the pot and let it cool on a wire rack, and enjoy your amazingly delicious, homemade bread that caused no stress!

Monday, June 24, 2013

{a dinner with the banta's}

We are attempting to eat a little more vegetarian around our house. Trying to be slightly more healthy. One of my best friends, Malorie, convinced me to try quinoa. I was a bit skeptical, but she told me she loved it, so I got some, and Ian bravely tried it with me. We love it! We consistently eat this, so I figured I would share the recipe I came up with.

Take the quinoa and follow the directions to cook it. While it is cooking, cook some shrimp (we had Key West shrimp in honor of our honeymoon tonight), cut up some cilantro, and half an avocado.  When the quinoa is almost done, add those ingredients, as well as a clove of garlic finely chopped, some salt and pepper to taste, and some chili powder (or anything spicy you may like). Finish it off with some lime juice and some mango salsa (mangos, onion, garlic, jalapeƱos, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper) and some tortilla chips to add some crunch. It's for real delicious and super healthy!

Let me know if you try it!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

{life after wedding}

we are home!!!!! and settling into our home as husband and wife, and it's pretty great. i recommend marriage :)

our wedding was perfect- thank you to so many friends and family who helped pull it off!  it was everything ian and i could have wanted and more.  we are so blessed by the many friends and family who joined us to celebrate!  to say we are thankful is to put it lightly.

our honeymoon was so much fun.  prior to the wedding, i was much more concerned about the weather on our big day (not that i would have been upset if it rained- we had plans for rainboots and umbrellas!), but a few days before leaving while packing for the honeymoon, i checked key west's weather. RAIIIIIIN. we promptly packed rain jackets. which turned out to be a good thing.

let me preface this by saying key west has the best weather of any of the tropics. it has never gotten below 40 degrees (they cancelled school when this happened), and has never gotten into triple digits. it also only rains 30-40 days of the year, and those are usually sprinkles.  well, we got a rare view of 3 full days of rain in key west. tropical storm andrea hit while we were there!  we didn't let it stop us.  we still explored the hemingway house, the southernmost point, and picked out all the places we'd eat all week while it was raining. we got to see the butterfly conservatory, feed sharks and stingrays at the aquarium, and even went to the beach in the rain.  it was perfect, really!

the last few days, the sun came out and typical key west showed us her side.  our favorite part of the trip was an ecotour with the man who ran our bed and breakfast we stayed at.  we went out to a private island (until the boy scouts showed up...), found awesome seashells, snorkeled a bit, and found dolphins that swam right up to our boat and hung out for about 30 minutes! one of the coolest things i've ever experienced- they wanted to see us and check us out... crazy! sadly, i had dropped my camera in a wave, so we didn't get any really close-up pictures of the dolphins (the onces you see are from our boat captain), but it was an experience i will never forget!

they got even closer than this! literally touched our boat

one of the neatest parts of our vacation!

our loot

now life is starting to feel normal... i'm back to working a few hours a week doing home health, we're organizing our new home (praise the Lord i married an organizer!), and life is good!

hope you enjoy a few pictures we didn't post on facebook :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


life is so full of changes right now. it is fun and exciting :)

our count down is 11 days right now.  in true kellie and ian form, we started comparing our wedding countdown in relation to an NBA game.  we started the countdown at 48 days til the wedding, and sectioned it out into quarters. we're a weird couple, but it works. all of a sudden, we're in the final quarter. all major details are done (we think and hope!), and now we just get to get excited!

we also moved most of our stuff into our new town home.  that was an adventure in itself.  i am not an organized person. it is one of the many traits of ians that i hope to adopt. i also brought most of the furniture and appliance-type things, so my move from my little one bedroom place was a little daunting. luckily, we had lots of help from friends and family, and got everything from my house, and the big things from ian's house over in 1 trip!
the adventure came when i realized there was no water on in the house, although the water company assured us it was on. it wasn't. until today.  i felt like i was camping in my house, which was ok for day one and two, but by day 3 and 4, i was done.  crisis averted, the people at the water company felt bad for poor little me and sent someone over to turn the switch today.
now comes the fun of organizing everything.

tomorrow is also my last day of work for the year! i am so looking forward to just sleeping in. i have big plans on thursday to spend my day in bed catching up on tv shows i've missed and sleeping in as late as i want!

t-minus 11 days. 11 days until i marry my best friend.  11 days until i get to share this big house with a roommate.  11 days until i live with a boy!!!! so thankful for this season and all it taught me :)  thankful for the man God blessed me with

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


please let me start off this post with a statement that i am not against plastic surgery or changing one's look.  i know people go through changes for all sorts of reasons.  this post is simply about my eye-opening experience yesterday, and prayers for girls/women everywhere.

my eyes were opened yesterday to why plastic surgery can be addicting for some women.  i went to the dentist for a cleaning yesterday.  a simple cleaning, with questions of possible whitening for my upcoming wedding.  i left and cried the hardest i have cried in months.  a cry that came from the inside, one of feeling inadequate and not good enough.

it seems silly, looking back with a good night's rest, and some chats with my mama, some friends, and ian.  it seems silly. but i know it's also not silly at all.

i left the dentist, after simply wanting to know if i could use white strips, feeling like i had the worst smile on the face of the earth.  my teeth were literally 'picked apart', and i was told i needed everything from i need professional whitening, to veneers (nothing against them- i know lots of people need them for more permanent whitening solutions or they inherited 'great' teeth, just that my teeth structure is perfectly fine), to replacement caps on my molars, to gap reduction and a periodontal appointment.  i left feeling about 2 feet tall.

this made me feel even smaller, because prior to going, i had put a little extra makeup on, i had my new fun glasses on, and a cute outfit.  i felt good.  i left feeling like none of it mattered.

i realized how blessed i am.  i have been told all my life i am beautiful.  my parents told me, my mom was never self-conscious about her beauty, and therefore, passed it along to me, my friends always built me up, and i'm marrying a man who thinks i look beautiful when i'm not wearing makeup, or trying particularly hard.
i realized not everyone is as blessed as that, and that made me sad.

like i said, i can see how plastic surgery is addicting, because people start pointing out things that aren't 'perfect', and giving you solutions to look 'perfect'.  without even meaning to, they can break you down to a point of desperation and pain, but give you solutions to 'fix' what is 'wrong' with you.

today i'm thankful that i know God created me the way he wants me.  i may not be perfect by the world's standards.  i may be too short, too small in some areas, too big in others, my body is not perfect, my skin is not perfect, i have my flaws, but i know GOD MADE MY FLAWS.  if we were all 'perfect', we wouldn't have the things God made us to have to be unique.

i want reality to be like the dove commercials where women are celebrated for being different and unique.

please know, if you read this, you are beautiful.  you may think you have your flaws, but honestly, we are our toughest critic.  most people don't notice the tiny gap, or the off-centered whatever.  they see you.  they see the person God made you to be.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{our random night}

Ian and I have been looking for a place to live... We have a few front runners, but we don't make decisions quickly.  I once had great advise given to me that you should drive around a potential home at night to see how it is sans daylight. Because we were near one of the potential places late one night (11 is late to me these days...), we figured, why not.
This place is townhome plaza. There are tons of them, and that is it. Not the prettiest, not the worst, but picture that in your brain. Our particular place is on a deadend.
While driving on this deadend street at 11 at night, a man comes out carrying a huge box and flags us down. A bit confused, we stop and roll down a window. Who is on a deadend street at 11 carrying a box? Why, a potential neighbor who offers us 10 lbs of bread, of course! Not exaggerating people, a huge box of bread, with an extra bag. I honestly don't even eat bread that often, but he explains he usually takes it to his church, but they don't need it, so he wanted to give it away.
We decide although we have no need for 10 lbs of bread, we could find someone who did, and took it to the hope center, but really... How random!?
I guess the benefit is if we move there we'll have at least one nice neighbor!

The adventures in moving...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


i love my job because i love kids.  i love their joy, i love their awe, i love their trust.

i have been following a blog for the past year about a sweet little girl with cancer.  i hate cancer, and i hate when kids get cancer.  it doesn't seem fair.  but i love her family.  not only did they trust God with her cancer, but they trusted Him without question of why.  she passed away over the weekend after 4 years of cancer treatments, surgeries, experimental therapies, and so much pain... too much for a sweet little 9 year old to face.
i cannot imagine losing a child.  my brain won't even allow me to go to that place, but reading what her mother wrote... there is joy. joy of knowing where her baby is. joy in knowing this isn't a goodbye forever. sadness, but joy in knowing Christ, and knowing her little girl loved Jesus.

very frequently, the hardest part of my job is trying to show parents how great their kids are.  my little friends are some of the funniest, cutest, most trusting and loving children.  that is who God made kids to be, and it is why i love them.

to my friends who are parents, thank you.  it is easy for me to lose faith sometimes in parents.  thank you for loving your kids, taking delight in your kids, and letting them know you love them.

life is too short.  earth is temporary.  i want to make the most of my time here.  i want to love. i want to be joyful. i want to celebrate each day God blesses me with.

life is not always easy, but it is beautiful.

and go pray for this family ( i pray i can continually hand over to God the things that are most dear to me, and face each trial with joy, just as this family has with one of the most difficult struggles in this world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{indoor camping}

Why do I love working in a preschool? Because I get to do fun activities with my little friends, call it therapy, and introduce them to new things.
This week, we are learning about camping. I have loved camping since I was little- my parents have taken me on camping trips since I was a wee little one, so why not give my kiddos a little hint of something I love?
I currently have a 4 man tent set up in my room, we are roasting marshmallows over a 'fire', and everything is being done by flashlights and lanterns. Even just on day one, it has been so fun watching my kids have fun.
This is why I love my job- seeing my kids learn and have fun.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{my little friends}

without going into detail, somedays of my job are just hard.  i love my little friends.  even the ones who try my patience and test my nerves, i love them dearly.  it breaks my heart when i hear about my little ones who are not being given the life that they so deserve- a carefree life full of joy and happiness.

sometimes, it is easy to get down...

but i want to thank my friends with kids.
thank you for loving your kids.  for many of your facebook posts and blogs where you talk about the joy your kids bring you, the activities you do with your kids, and reading in your voices, your words, and your pictures how much your kids are loved.
i can assure you that even if you think you screw up little things about parenthood, if your kids know you love them and they are safe, that is what they really need.

you all give me hope that the future is not dark....

thanks for loving your kids :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

{if i'm going to be sick...}

so i don't post on here too often anymore.  1. because, shocker, i don't have time... 2 jobs and planning a wedding, plus wanting to spend time with people i like = less time for things like this.
2. sometimes, life as a speech path really isn't all that interesting.

well. working in the schools, i am exposed to many, many little germs from my lovely little friends (see last post...). i caught it.  and actually, i think i caught a few, because it seems like every day, my symptoms change a little bit.
but that isn't what this post is about.  although i am a huge baby when it comes to being sick, i have decided, good must come.  and today it may come in a little joy in your life for reading this (i hope).

i have learned something i would like to share.
niquil is great.  lord of the rings is great (to a lot of people... to me it's ok, but we can chat about that later)
watching lotr then taking niquil?
i mean crazy dreams last night.  dreams i was a hobbit being chased, then dreams i was the nasty, disgusting orc's that are chasing the hobbits, then i was gandolf, then i was the little elf dude... i mean, they didn't stop.  and let me tell you, being in the mind of an orc is a scary enough dream.
to conclude, i had wedding nightmares (don't know how those got their way in there), where i remembered i didn't shave my legs at the last minute before walking down the aisle, attempted to shave really quickly, cut myself, and bled onto my dress, down the aisle, and it was a disaster.

this might be the end of my relationship with niquil when i'm sick.

hope this offered a small piece of joy on my behalf.  (or at least a lesson in what to watch or not watch prior to taking niquil)... like i said... SOMETHING good has to come from being sick

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

{not for the weak}

if you have a weak stomach. stop here. this post is not for you.

it is 11:30, i have worked 2 jobs today, and i am tired, so this will be short and to the point.

my life is never dull.

today, i had a little friend sneeze. this was not an ordinary sneeze. it was one that propelled thick, yellow snot that must have been stored in the depths of his brain, because it came out in a long string that came past his chin, past his collar bone, stopping somewhere between his belly button and chest. my little friend proceeded to suck this long (double) strand of snot right back up where it came from in one great snort.

one can only be impressed with that.

between the number of sick kids out, and sick kids that SHOULD be out, i need a snow day tomorrow.

so tonight, i beg you to do a snow dance, throw a ice cube over your shoulder out your door, and sleep with your pj's inside out and backward.
think of me. think of all the poor teachers stuck with sick, cranky kids.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


i don't want this blog to be all about me and ian. life is so much more than me, or him, or the two of us, but today, i am thankful that i get to become his wife in a few months.  we're going through marriage counseling, and it is helping me to realize how thankful i am for the friend he is to me, his organization and desire to help me be more organized in my life (both with actual stuff and with emotional stuff as well), and the way he just makes me laugh daily and reminds me life is too short to not try and enjoy every minute- whether that minute is good or bad by earthly standards.

i pray that you have or find someone in your life who consistently pulls you up to be more like Christ, and challenges you lovingly to become a better person.

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