[more than] a week in pictures: may 1–9

we tilled and seeded the side garden. it used to look like this. in doing so, we found this:

yeah that's right, a hard-boiled egg. probably from some long-forgotten easter egg hunt!

the current interior shots of the master remodel:

we tore out the insulation from the exterior walls, and our contractor fixed the rotted spots in the subfloor (and he added another layer, i think). he framed in all the doors, too. we took out the plastic dust screen. this week, hvac came, and hopefully plumbing will get started. the tile guy is coming tomorrow morning to give us an estimate. we're moving on putting things back together.

i met with the cabinet designer last thursday morning—i wanted a bid for the vanity and linen closet. i also sketched out another project for a bid, but i'm not going to say what it is in case it doesn't work out. i've been having so much fun playing interior designer.

got some great early birthday gifts—lime salt from wes and maggie and pirate stationery from beth. i love that my friends and family know the quirky things i'd like.

scored some cute pillows at pier one for a great price. i saw them and loved them last year but didn't want to pay full price. patience can pay off! green equals best color ever. plus, i got a good reaction from ben! he likes them because they look tropical.

some baking happened. another chance to use the cake decorating tools ben gave me for christmas.

 until the future!

birthday happenings

whew! it has been a busy week.
i have a lovely sister. she turned 23 on tuesday. we celebrated with our family on sunday, and we met some sweet friends from her work. it was a beautiful day—sunny and warm—so we ate lunch outside.

i got the chance to try out a recipe i've been curious about. it's the pink lemonade layer cake from the deen brothers cookbook. it called for lemon zest in both the cake and the frosting, but i left that out because i wanted it to be more sweet than tart. in my opinion, it came out plenty tart, so i think i'll leave that out in the future.

anyway, kristy put in a request for a strawberry or raspberry dessert, so i added strawberries. i also got a chance to use the cake decorating tools ben gave me for Christmas in 2008!

of course, i wanted to use the camera. so here's the visual story of the cake's life.

k for kristen. it was soon time to blow out the candle and...we all know how the story ends.

i was feeling extra crafty, so i decided to make her birthday card myself. i had saved this post to try and i decided to make the most of all the leftover paint color samples we have around the house. i had everything else on hand.

what fun to make things out of stuff you already have.

p.s. free coffee today at starbucks if you bring your own mug! happy tax day!

another p.s. instead of posting pics of the kids from easter, here's a video ben took of klaas teaching those kids crazy things. ha!

in this is love...

beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. in this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7–11

we heard a wonderful sermon on this text last night. God loves us not because we deserve or somehow earn his love, but because love is who He is. it's not like we're so darn cute He can't help but love us; no, our good deeds are as filthy rags to Him (isaiah says "all our righteous deeds are as a polluted garment"). and His love is not like ours. praise God—my love is fickle! we see God's abundant love in that He sent His Son to die for our sins...and to give us life in Him.

(some early-morning baking yielded the above photos. i thought they were fitting. a friend gave me the heart-shaped cup measures for a wedding shower gift. firmly-packed brown sugar gives the heart shape! we're celebrating my brother's and my father-in-law's birthdays this weekend. we are so blessed to be surrounded by loving family...and to have a loving Father in heaven.)