Friday Favorites: Breakfast

Yay for Friday! In our house it's "Waffle Friday", in honor of Brian's favorite (and must have) weekend breakfast. All of this got me thinking...due to our love of weekend breakfast dates, Brian and I have discovered a handful of great little cafes and neighborhood shops. Here are a two of our favorite eateries in two fun areas of town. Alameda Cafe'- This corner cafe is number one in our book and we've been going there for years. Best french toast ON THE PLANET, no joke. The rest of their food is FABULOUS too. I love there california style eggs benedict also (no hollendaise for me, though). We've never been disappointed there. La Petit Provence (Alberta)- yum, yum and yum! This is the only place I've ever been to that even makes squash taste good! They have amazing omelets and a great atmosphere. They also have a bakery inside with beautiful pastries, breads and desserts that you can take home. If you had to choose a favorite breakfast place, what would yours be?


Milestone #1: Worst mom EVER

Yesterday afternoon Elli decided to do a backwards flip head first off the end of the changing table/dresser. Like every mom says, "I only turned for a second" and off she went. I have never been so scared and shaken in my life. The image of her little body wedged between the dresser and the wall haunted me the rest of the evening and into the night. I experienced such a flood of emotion. Panic, fear (accompanied with a scream that scared the poor baby more than the fall did), dread, guilt, concern, all rushed over me like a tsunami. After running the length of the house 4 times frantically trying to find the phone I called my husband, then the doctor, then my mom. After all of the quick and tear filled conversations I sat on the bed with my now cooing (I'm not kidding) and perfectly fine baby and feeling like I had completely failed her. My sister called me a few minutes later wanting to know if I was ok. I broke down admitting I wasn't. She, of course, assured me this happens to everyone, it's practically a milestone. At the time that did not make me feel much better. Instead I continued to torture myself with every horrible alternative scenario that COULD have happened, but DIDN'T. This morning I woke up to a gurgling, smiling baby who felt like "chatting" more than eating. As her eyes looked at me with a twinkle of amusement, I knew she was ok. I thanked God for protecting her and realized that perhaps all of this was a milestone. Not only was this her first attempt at becoming an olympic gymnist, but this was my first time feeling like the WORST MOM EVER. I've been told every mom experiences it and I guess yesterday was my initiation into a club I never wanted to join.


Friday Favorites: Anniversary Edition

Tomorrow marks my ELEVENTH wedding anniversary! I can hardly believe how fast time has flown by. In honor of this amazing day, I'd like to talk about my favorite person in the whole wide world, Brian Becker. While I know this list will never adequately describe what I love about my husband, here are just a few of my favorite things about my him. He's funny. One of the first reasons I even started hanging around Brian was for his fun factor. He helps me enjoy life more. He's determined. Although he has many "re-do's" , he works hard to be his best in every area and gets up daily with that in mind He's passionate. You don't have to be around Brian very long before you see and hear his passion for Jesus, life and the Seahawks He's an amazing Dad. In just three short months I've watch Brian fall head over heals for Elli, it's absolutely beautiful He is my kind of romantic. Yay for sleepy mornings, small cafe's, country music, special notes, great talks and simple gestures He's creative. He is always creating...graphics, vision concepts, blogs, games, ridiculous raps and songs, titles and on and on He's confident. Brian is comfortable in his own skin, confident in his calling, abilities, vision, likes/dislikes, etc...He's motivating. As I watch him lead and grow, I want to be more, to get closer to what God wants in my life. His words. Some of my most precious possessions are his written notes, he's an amazing writer. He's true. This one's hard to explain... He's real, honest, pure, loyal, faith-filled, non-cynical and sees the best in things I could go on and on. I love my husband beyond words. He is an amazing husband, provider and friend. He is truly my best friend and most treasured gift. I am so thankful for the past eleven years. We have faced challenges and pain, yet have found strength and love. I am so excited to see what God has in store for us for our future. Happy Anniversary, Babe! I love you!


The Shadows Prove the Sunshine

Last night at Switch Brian spoke about finding God in the shadows of your life and it reminded me of some thoughts I've been mulling lately. Too often we say we believe in God's grace, yet live as if we need to fix everything before we can "really" experience God. We avoid reaching out to the One who can help us because we're afraid of His reaction to our dark side. Two years ago I had my third miscarriage. I can say without a doubt it was the absolute darkest time in my life. The darkness didn't come from the pain of tragedy, however. It came from a deep dark anger and offense towards God. I felt like everything I had believed about Him had been shattered. He had disappointed me. This disappointment surprised me, I had been through this twice before, with countless let downs in between, but for some reason this time was different. All of my frustration and pride forced to the surface like a rumbling volcano. I was lost in a sea of thoughts like "How could He do this to me?!" and "Why me?" and "Where are you God?". I felt as though the comfort and security and faith that I had in my heavenly Father had been shredded. I had been convinced He would never allow that kind of pain in my life, yet He had, AGAIN. I literally felt like I was being swallowed up by one gigantic shadow of hurt. During that time I didn't know what to pray, so everyday I began to simply say, "God, no matter what, don't let me fail this test. Don't let me let go of You. Even though I don't feel it, I know You're the answer." And with that simple prayer I began to reveal my shadows and be as raw and honest as I could with the only One who could see my whole heart. Even as I write this, I am overwhelmed by the intense intimacy I experienced with the creator of the universe during those messy talks. He revealed to me the serious flaws in my heart and the serious grace in His. He reminded me of His sovereignty and that He will do whatever it takes to remove the obstacles between me and His love. I am so thankful for that painful experience. All of the darkness was worth wading through. As I was drowning in my shadows, God came with His light and rescued me. He loved on me. The security I thought I had was replaced with a deep knowing that God is in control. I truly found God in the shadows.


Friday Favorites: Little Books

If you've known me very long, you know I love books. I love the stories, the smell of the ink, the feel of the pages and the look of the print. I have always especially loved children's books. Now that I'm a mom, I'm thrilled to let this passion run wild and hopefully be passed on to Elliana. While in Poulsbo, WA recently I wandered into a small shop with my neice and nephew and discovered my new favorite line of children's books. The "Little Books" series by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is absolutely adorable! The stories are super cute and the illustrations by Jen Corace have a quaint old fashioned feel, but set in a modern way with lots of white space around them. My favorite of the three is "Little Hoot". This story is about a little owl who wants to go to bed early, but his parents want him to stay up late so he can be a good owl. Its full of subtle humor and absolutely adorable. If you have a little one, you won't be disappointed if you check these books out!



Tonight I witnessed one of the most precious moments since Elli's been born. After finishing feeding Elli and getting her ready for bed, I laid her down on our bed to wiggle a while before bedtime. Not too long after that, Brian came home from a late meeting and knelt down beside the bed so he could be face to face with his baby girl. Elli gave her daddy a huge smile (as usual), but when he greeted her she suddenly became very focused and started "talking" in a way we'd never heard before. With an awed quiet surrounding us, she just stared straight into her dad's eyes and made sounds, gurgles and whispered squeals for a solid few minutes as if telling him all about the day's events and her cares and concerns. When she began to quiet Brian would barely whisper a word and she would start chattering all over again. You could literally them loving each other. It was beautiful. I'm so thankful for my baby girl and her wonderful daddy.


Friday Favorites

In an effort to freshen up my blog, I've decided to have a favorites day in which I share some of my favorite things and since Friday is the only day of the week that starts with an F...Friday Favorites is born! Here are some of my latest faves (this is just my jumping off point, they wont always be this girly)... brandiandboys.wordpress.com (this is a GREAT easy going blog written by a mom (of 3 busy boys) and pastor's wife in Nashville...it has become a bright spot in my day) L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara (I'm constantly on the hunt for a good mascara for my puny lashes and this one ROCKS! It doesn't flake or smudge not even when you sleep in it, but comes off easily with warm water) Bright Starts Play Place (I actually saw this last summer and HAD to have one for Elli. I love all of the different conversions possible, especially the movable walls) Fels-Naptha Bar (if you don't have it GET IT, especially if you have little ones. It's the best stain remover EVER) Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion (this stuff cleared Elli's sensitive skin right up and it's not greasy)