Monthly Archives: April 2016


Throwing an Engagement Party

Sweet roomie Katie is getting married!!!



And I couldn’t be more thrilled for this next chapter of her life with her love, Bill. They are such a sweet couple that have dedicated their relationship in service to the Lord and we wanted to celebrate them well during this season!

What I served:

  • Cheese Board
  • Creamy Herb Dip with fresh veggies
  • Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets, assorted dipping sauces
  • Assorted store-bought cupcakes… {just wait til you see these beauties}
  • Champagne, Fruited Water, and lemonade

The secret to this menu was selecting items that could be-

a) served at room temperature

b) many of the recipes could be made ahead & stored until party time

c) were primarily store-bought and could be assembled and presented as if it was homemade. Listen… No one has more fun just because you made everything!

d) ensure there was something for everyone

And, with this menu, I think we achieved that! And it was tasty, minimal stress, and easy to prepare & present. And all the guests left no longer hungry.

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So, here was my Game Plan:

*Always, always, for any kind of a gather or get-together, lay out a game plan; a timeline to ensure that not only does everything get done, but you actually have given yourself enough time to get it done!

  • 2-3 weeks ahead of the party, send the E-vite to the guests, ask for RSVP or Regrets Only so you know how many to plan for.
  •  3 days ahead of party. Shop time! Go ahead and wash the veggies before storing them. Keep the cheeses in their original packaging and place in refrigerator. Do not wash the fruit you plan to serve until day of party.
  •  2 days ahead of party. Set out plates, cups, glasses, and serving pieces. Visually see how you will present the food on party day. {this is always the step in the process that gets me the most excited about hosting}
  • 1 day ahead of party. Make the Creamy Herb dip and slice/prep the veggie dippers. Chill down the drinks and pick up the Party trays that you have ordered, which in my case was chicken and cupcakes… 2 main food groups.
  • Day of party. It’s go time! Make sure drinks are perfectly chilled. Assemble the cheese board, allowing the cheeses and salami to come to room temperature, reheat the chicken nuggets so they will be nice and warm at start of party, and set all the other items out including herb dip and veggies along with the cupcakes. Allow to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes prior to first guest arriving. That way, if you have any early arrivals (and you always will), you won’t be scrambling around at the last minute as they look on. I want my guests to think I am calm, cool, and collected, and as a result, they settle in and have more fun.

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In the way of decorations, I really didn’t do that much since our apartment is rather cozy and we were expecting lots of our friends and family in attendance.

I did do one large, but simple & understated flower arrangement in center of the food table.It was a grouping of 3 pots of white orchids with gold & white polka dot tissue paper wedged in between to keep the pots covered, but also to add a little flair!

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I think they turned out pretty well.

And there were a few other subtle details too…

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Happy Engagement Katie & Bill, but even more importantly, many, many blessings to you as you begin your lives together. May it always bring honor & glory to your Savior, Jesus!

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We love you!



Digging up.

One of my favorites, and honestly a spiritual mentor of mine, Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Don’t dig up in doubt, what you planted in faith.”

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of digging.

I go through digging seasons.

Do you?

But, like a loving parent who unconditionally loves & disciplines His child, the Lord draws me unto Himself time and time again.

Even when I am throwing a tantrum.

It is in these digging seasons that I am often rebellious towards Him.

Not in daily fellowship and prayer with Him.

Not in fellowship with fellow believers; my confidantes, truth-tellers, and accountability partners. Because I know what the mirror will show staring back at me.




So, sometimes, while I am digging, it’s easier to just shut them out. Shut them all out.

And in that avoidance, in that rebellion, what does He do? Pours out His love, grace, and mercy anyways. Because I am His.

And He is mine.

In a way, we are all like spiritual farmers. Faithfully planting those seeds of faith and waiting for the harvest. We have grand, big dreams for in various areas of our lives, and so we plant seeds in relationships, in our career aspirations, in our finances, in our small groups and church groups, and we are expectant that they return to us in healthy marriages, happy families, successful business endeavors, enriching new relationships, deepening friendships, and fruitful personal ministry.

And that is all well and good.

But, it is in between the sowing and the reaping where our true problems lie.

Have we been protecting our seeds? Giving them attention, water, prayer? Protecting them from the birds of the sky and the rodents in the field; the enemy?

And perhaps most importantly, have we allowed God to work in and through us? Have we practiced patience and diligence, not compromising and uprooting these hopes and dreams before they have the chance to mature and be fruitful? Are we not allowing them to bloom?

We are digging them up, instead of reaping.

So, here I am. Staring at some empty fields, wondering if I will ever see a crop pop up. I am tempted to dig up in doubt, what I planted in prayer and faith.

Maybe you are too?

Don’t let doubt uproot your faith.

Stay the course and continue to be a sower, not a digger. Let’s reap the fields together.