Broken Glass {An Advent Lesson From the Wilderness}

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As we begin this year’s countdown to Christmas, my family and I started an Advent reading calendar to prepare our hearts and help keep our focus on the important parts of Christmas through the holiday mayhem. We’ve never done it before, as our kids have been too little to really understand, but as we sat down today with the lights twinkling and the fire roaring, it really started to feel like Christmas. As we cozied up, the storm raged outside (the RAIN storm, mind you, in 39 degree weather on the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER – oh so festive!) and the Christmas music was playing softly in the background when our 6 year old asked, “What is ‘Advent’?” I answered without really thinking, “It’s the time leading up to Christmas that we use to prepare our hearts and remember what Christ did for us.” And in that moment, a lifetime of Scriptures and Christmas cliches culminated in a newfound revelation that brings me to where I am now, sitting at my computer, and writing to you.

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French Pancakes {No-Fail, Original Family Recipe}

One of our sweetest family traditions is my husband’s family’s French Pancake recipe. It’s the kind of recipe you are only introduced to once you have met the preliminary requirements of a long-term girlfriend and are well on your way to becoming the proud owner of a new diamond. For me, having grown up with the family, the legend of ‘Mom’s aahhhhh-mazing French Pancakes’ was hollowed and only spoke of in the most sacred of tones. Her boys would do almost anything to bring that deliciously light and yet satisfyingly rich, beautiful plate of scrumptious-ness to the table. So you can imagine my hesitation to undertake this endeavor upon becoming an official Mrs. A.frenchpan1

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This Mom’s Open Letter to Target: The Real Reason We’re Boycotting {It’s Not What You Think}

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Dear Target,

From the beginning of your business venture, your CEO’s, executives, marketing teams – everyone down to my local branch manager – have dreamed up and executed a brilliant strategy. You realized that in order to secure yourselves a place next to Walmart you would need to hone in on a very specific consumer, one that, once addicted, would become your most loyal and impulse-purchase-happy customers on the face of the planet: you wanted moms. And you, my dear friend, have succeeded!

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Lemon Blueberry Loaf

I love hosting play dates. In fact, I pretty much love hosting anything {this would include a few minor exceptions such as Cat-Lovers Anonymous and Weight Watchers}. One of the challenges of a host is to continue to wow her guests over and over again with new and delicious original recipes {riiiiiiight}. Well, I don’t know how new or original this recipe is, but it is definitely a wow-er! lbloafhd2

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To Those Who Wait: An Open Letter to A Lonely Heart

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The snow beat down as I gazed out the window at the glistening world of white, a beautiful sight even as the light from a dim sky slowly began to fade. My buzzing thoughts once again had slowed long enough to stray to that forbidden dream, that forgotten longing; the telling dull ache that resonated from deep within my soul. I had been in this place before… in fact, I knew it well. But simply understanding the pain would not soothe it; ignoring it as it tugged on my heart would not make it go away. I was lonely.

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