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February’s Pie #piesof2021

March 1, 2021

If you’ve been following along (and I know two of you are – hi Mom & Dad), you know that I’ve taken up pie baking as a new hobby.

In January, I baked an apple pie.

For February’s pie I was looking for something for a Valentine’s Day dessert. I came across a chocolate raspberry pie.

It was a no bake pie so that may be cheating just a tiny bit. I followed a suggestion for a cookie crust in the blog comments where the recipe was posted. That was a big mistake as the cookie crust completely crumbled and I had to get a bit creative (I crushed it up, mixed it with butter, and lined the bottom of the pie pan with the mixture).

That chocolate layer on the bottom was the best part of this pie. The raspberry layer was SO TART! We weren’t fans of this pie so I’m not even going to link the recipe.

What should I attempt for March?

January Things

February 25, 2021

For as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve wanted to be a “better blogger”. More consistent in documenting things in our lives. I am a bit of a scrapbooking slacker so this is another way that I document things. It’s always fun to go back and see what was going on in life. I thought I’d try to do a monthly recap in addition to the posts I write up here & there. So, here’s a bit of what January looked like.

Taylor started her new job on January 1. She’s the Children’s Ministry Director at a great local church and loves it. I might be a bit biased but I think she’s doing a fantastic job so far! :)

Brian started a new job on January 4! Working virtually with his team members in other states can be a challenge, but he’s liking the job so far. He’s no longer in consulting (after MANY years) so that’s been an adjustment as well.

I did not start a new job in January. I’m continuing my life of leisure and mooching off of Brian. :) I did take up a couple new hobbies – yoga & pie baking (those two things go perfectly together, right?). I completed a 30 day yoga challenge (Yoga with Adriene on YouTube if you’re interested) and baked my first homemade pie.

Nick turned 25! Goodness, how did he get so old (Brian and I are still so young!)? Poor guy was diagnosed with Covid the day before his birthday. He had a couple rough weeks but is feeling fine now. We dropped off a gift as his apartment and chatted briefly on Zoom. Man, we miss him! Can’t wait till we can get together for birthday dinners again!

My small group started our winter Bible study. We’re doing Matchless by Angie Smith and are really enjoying it (confession: I wasn’t sure about it at first but have ended up liking it!).

I had a fun game night on Zoom with my women’s group (we played Quiplash which is always fun) and a couple of friends and I visited a new-ish (new to us) coffee shop in Hamilton. It was GOOD to be together in person!

Brian & I made a trip to Springfield to visit his dad & Margi. We hadn’t seen them yet for Christmas and had a fun afternoon catching up.

Taylor was a bridesmaid AND the officiant for one of her dearest friend’s wedding. Brian & I were so sad to miss it! #stupidcovid

Picture stolen from Tay’s Facebook page (used without permission).

That about does it for January. Not too bad for a time when we’re mostly staying home! I cannot believe it’s almost March. Back soon with a February recap!

January’s Pie #piesof2021

February 1, 2021

Confession: I don’t love pie. I’d much rather have cake.

My family likes pie. Taylor hates cake and chooses pie for her birthday every year.

I decided that I needed a new hobby for 2021 and that learning to bake pies was it. Nick said that’s a pretty good choice for a hobby. :)

I have never baked a pie completely from scratch. I’ve made a Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie before but always used pre-made crust. I’ve been most nervous about the homemade crust for some reason.

I gave up “sweats & treats” for January (minus the piece of cheesecake I ate when visiting my in-laws — you can’t pass up a Martha Stewart cheesecake) so I waited until the very last day of January for attempting my first pie.

I made Laura Vitale’s Apple Pie. Laura is one of Taylor’s favorite bakers (if you’ve had Tay’s cinnamon rolls, you know how awesome Laura’s recipes are). The store didn’t have the apples she recommended so I used Google’s apple recommendation.

I thought the pie looked a little “rustic” (aka lots of flaws), but I was pretty happy with how it turned out over all.

Brian & Tay both liked it. We all loved the crust (whew!). I thought it was a bit tart for my liking and will track down the suggested apples and try it again later. My pie pan was also slightly larger than what the recipe called for so I have to figure out how to accommodate for that difference next time as well.

Overall, it was a good first pie! If you’ve got any pie tips & tricks (or favorite recipes) send them my way!


January 19, 2021

A few days ago I was passing some butter to Brian and had a flashback to when Nick was little and called butter “butter butter”. There was peanut butter and then there was butter butter. It made us think of a few other funny things he used to say. Sometimes he’d ask for “chicken on the bone” rather than chicken tenders. He called Sprite “white pop” and Coke “brown pop”. Too cute!

This really doesn’t seem that long ago! And yet today he’s turning 25 years old!

Where does the time go?

And how are we old enough to have a kid that’s TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD?

We haven’t seen much of Nick this past year due to Covid so I’m extra thankful we had a fun family trip before 2020 really kicked in.

Happy Birthday, Nick! We love you so much and are so proud of the smart, funny, kind, hard-working guy you are.

2020 Recap

January 13, 2021

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it’s January 13. For some reason I just haven’t taken the time to blog but I did want to post a quick recap of last year (is there much to recap?). I loved seeing some 2020 photo posts people were posting on Facebook of fun & positive things that happened during crazy 2020. I thought there were some things we might like to remember here too. So, here we go…


Nick turned 24!


I have no idea what we did for the Super Bowl but apparently there were football cookies involved. :) I hosted a fun “Galentine’s Day” party for my women’s community group (and we made these cute bracelets). Corbin turned 10!


We went to Disney World! What a fun week together before life changed completely. Disney World closed down one week after we got home.

The library closed down so I was off work for a while. Brian started a new job at the end of the month. What a strange time to be starting a new job, especially one where you’re managing people and can’t actually meet them face-to-face!


Brian surprised me with this fun Disney cake from my favorite bakery. He also arranged a Zoom party with Nick & our parents (our parents’ first Zoom experience!).

(All of sudden I want a piece of cake.)

Taylor started a tee shirt business ( on Instagram).


Taylor quit her job at the coffee shop. She had some fun plans in the works for the summer and fall (none of which ended up happening!).

I got called back to work at the library and the job was VERY different than my fun little 15-hour a week, pre-covid job. :(


This is life at the library in June. And it’s exhausting! Tay’s summer job got cancelled. Brian’s still navigating a new job working 100% from home.

We (and by “we” I mean Brian) did a little sprucing up of our front porch. He took down the railings and opened the space up. We love it!


Brian & I (in our Threads by Taylor tees) did 4th of July “porch visits” with our parents. It had been WAY too long since we had seen them. Somehow visits to Dairy Queen became a frequent thing we started doing during quarantine (no complaints – sometimes you just need to get out of the house!).


Quarantine may be getting to us. We’ve now started having Saturday morning dates to Dunkin & the Rumpke dump. Do we know how to have fun or what? (Seriously, single friends – find someone that you can have fun doing ANYTHING with!)

I quit my job at the library! I worked because I wanted to (I’m lucky, I know) and I just wasn’t enjoying the job any longer. :(

At the end of the month we got a horrible early morning phone call. Our nephew had been killed in a motorcycle accident. We got my mother-in-law and headed to Florida.


We spent the first few days in Florida with Brian’s brother’s family. So thankful we could be there with them as they went through one of the worst weeks of their lives. What a blessing to see all the love & support they received from their local friends and to meet so many of Aaron’s friends and hear so many wonderful stories of the kind-hearted person our nephew was. He was loved by all.

We knew there were risks to traveling in 2020 and discovered soon after returning home that we had been exposed to Covid. I didn’t feel great one night so we decided to get tested, mainly so we’d know if we had exposed Tay. Thankfully we were both negative!

We celebrated Taylor’s 22nd birthday with brunch & Top Golf (one of our new favorite things!).

We got creative with date nights and started tailgating at a local park. :)

We returned to Top Golf for Brian’s birthday.


We celebrated our 30th anniversary! We’ve been talking for years about going to Alaska for our 30th. Well, #2020. We did a little staycation with a nice dinner out, Top Golf (I told you it’s a favorite!), and the Pinball Garage.


I surprised Taylor with a little bathroom make-over while she was gone on a retreat.

We had a very quiet Thanksgiving with just me, Brian, and my in-laws (Nick is very cautious about being around groups of people & Tay was quarantining after a retreat).


Taylor graduated from college! She had a series of interviews and was hired as the Children’s Ministry Director at a local church.

We had a nice, quiet Christmas. We spent the morning with Nick & his girlfriend and saw our parents and my brother’s family the day after. These are the ONLY pictures we got of Christmas day.

We missed Nick and our parents as we didn’t see them much in 2020 (I hope that changes this year!).

I’m so thankful for these good memories in the midst of the craziest year!

Pray for Our Nation

January 7, 2021

Yesterday a friend shared this picture on Facebook…

I have no idea where the image came from (so I’m sorry I can’t give credit) but I thought about that image all day. And it broke my heart.

Pray for peace in our nation.

Where Is Your Focus?

December 17, 2020

On Tuesday I went to the dentist. Twice.

Don’t be jealous.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a rough spot on one of my back teeth. I told Brian I thought I had chipped/cracked a tooth. I went in then to get it looked at and sure enough, there was piece broken off the tooth AND a crack. The doctor put on a temporary filling (that lasted two days) and scheduled me for this week to get things all fixed up. We didn’t realize then that I also had a cleaning scheduled for that same morning. So I went twice.

By the time I went back in the afternoon for the work on the broken tooth, I was feeling some anxiety. I’ve had work on teeth before that has involved old fillings and things and it has never gone well. It’s always lead to more issues and lots of expensive dental work. I was also unhappy that I had paid quite a bit for the temporary, 2-day filling and according to my insurance I was going to have to pay more for that. I wanted to talk with the doctor about my concerns but was worried about that as well. Many years ago I went to a dentist who got HATEFUL when I told him about past experiences (he accused me of blaming the dentist who did the work – which was not the case at all!).

Anyhoo, I was a big bundle of nerves. But I managed to tell the doctor about my past experiences and my anxiety I was feeling over the work she was about to do. And she was FABULOUS and thanked me for telling her. There was an extra step she could do that would hopefully keep any issues from arising.

She numbed me up (which was quite the process due to the location of the tooth) and then I sat for a while while the area got dumb. As I was sitting there looking out the window, I saw a cross off in the distance. I felt like God whispered to my heart, “Where is your focus?” My focus on that moment was on the anxiety that I was feeling, the work that was about to start, and the money that I didn’t want to pay for the filling that didn’t last! I knew in that moment that my focus was on the wrong things. That “cross” (okay, it was a telephone pole) was just the reminder I needed to shift my focus to Jesus. I know that He is with me always and I needed Him to be there in that anxiety-filled moment in the dentist chair.

As the work began, I closed my eyes and just began to pray. I prayed about the things causing me anxiety, I prayed for family & friends going through some tough stuff, I prayed for anything that popped into my mind.

Before I knew it the tooth was fixed up and I was on my way. Oh, and on my way out the doctor told me that they weren’t charging me for the temporary filling and would apply what I had paid to the work the just did. Isn’t that just like Jesus? He often gives us more than we ever expect.

We’re all dealing with stuff. We’ve all got issues. Lost jobs, marriage problems, financial struggles, health issues, loneliness, homeschooling, family drama, etc., etc., etc…. It’s easy to let our issues become the main thing we focus on. When we shift our focus from our problems to the Problem Solver, our whole outlook changes. Our circumstances might not change immediately, but we can find peace – and even joy! – in the midst of them.

Whatever it is you’re facing right this very minute, I pray that you can shift your focus from your problem to Jesus and that He will give you that perfect peace that can only come from Him.

30 Years

October 23, 2020

Earlier this week we celebrated our 30th Anniversary.

30 years! Sometimes it seems crazy to think we’ve been married that long!

For several years we’ve been talking about taking a big trip for our 30th anniversary.

And then Covid hit.

Where we wanted to spend our anniversary:

Where we actually spent it:

West Chester – Hamilton – Fairfield – Mason

Brian took Monday & Tuesday off and we did a little staycation.

On Monday, Taylor tagged along as we went to vote and got breakfast. I meant to take pictures of all the things but was a bit of a slacker so I’ll steal these from Tay.

Those pumpkin waffles were good!

We dropped Tay off at home and ran a few errands. Brian’s been looking for ammo so we stopped at Bass Pro Shop (did you know there’s an ammo shortage?). I’ve been looking for a freezer so we headed to Lowe’s (most of you know this has been a favorite date night spot for years!). No luck on the ammo we did buy a small freezer. We dropped it off at home, hung out for a bit, and then headed out for an overnight stop in Mason, OH (it’s not Alaska, but it’s the next best thing. LOL!). We had a yummy dinner at Olive Garden and spent the night at Homewood Suites (my new favorite hotel chain).

We slept in on Tuesday before heading to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Then we went and played an hour at Top Golf.

I may have even won a game! :)

We hung out at home for a couple hours in the afternoon. Then Tay joined us and we headed to Hamilton to visit The Pinball Garage for the first time.

What fun! If you’re local and haven’t checked it out, you should go! Watch for a Groupon sale for a good deal on tokens.

We stopped at McDonald’s and picked up dinner (we’re so fancy).

We wore our masks & used lots of hand sanitizer. Every place seems to be doing their part to keep people safe. It was a fun couple of days.

Maybe we’ll make it to Alaska for our 35th.

Brian’s Birthday

September 29, 2020

Brian & I are the same age again. :) We had a fun day celebrating his birthday.

  • Breakfast at Cracker Barrel
  • Top Golf (Tay & I are improving!)
  • Documentary on Abraham Lincoln (Tay & I skipped this.)
  • Aerating the yard (We also skipped this.)
  • Picking up an online order at Lowe’s (Lowe’s online pick up process could use some work. We may or may not have purchased some Christmas decorations for our yard while we waited.)
  • Chinese food for dinner
  • Getting caught in the rain on our evening walk
  • We’ll finish the day with a big chocolate chip cookie and the Presidential debate (Do we know how to have fun or what?)

What a fun day celebrating this guy who works so hard to give us such a wonderful life! Only thing that would have made the day better is if Nick had been with us (missed you, Nick!).

Happy Birthday, Brian. We love you so much!


September 11, 2020

Taylor is 22 today!

Brian took a few hours off this morning and we told her we’d do whatever she wanted. Obviously there are many things we CAN’T (or won’t) do right now due to Covid, but she came up with a fun plan for the morning.

We started with breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe. She & I had the chicken & waffles. Yum!

This was our first time eating here. The food was great and they have done an excellent job spacing their tables for social distancing. They also have outdoor seating available.

Then we headed over to play Top Golf. The weather was nice and cool this morning and we had a great time.

Taylor doesn’t like cake (I know, I know…) so I asked her what she wanted for a birthday treat. She normally gets a birthday pie but our Perkins went out of business (she loves their caramel apple pie). She’s been getting into baking so she decided to make her own birthday treat – orange rolls. We’re looking forward to sharing those with her later tonight. :)

This girl is kind, sweet (occasionally sassy), very funny, determined & disciplined, and such a great friend to others. She loves Jesus, Bible study, cold brew coffee, Disney, candles, buffalo wings, Netflix, music, TikTok & SnapChat, Twilight, and dogs. She’s finishing up her senior year of college and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her!

Happy Birthday, Tay! We love you so much!