master p

I just need to brag a little bit.
As of this past Tuesday, my incredible husband is DONE with his Masters!

We had an impromptu get together with a couple friends that night to celebrate, and I made this cake...
We were cracking up because I used some of the leftover raspberry filling to color the piped frosting, which made it look like it was a cake announcing a baby girl. Which it isn't, just to clarify.

Doug - I am so proud of you! All your hard work has paid off, and now you can take random seminary classes like you've been wanting to. Haha. I love you!


recently i'm... (16)

Baking: Cupcakes! I have been on a cupcake frenzy this past weekend! We had a party at our friends, the Schupras', to watch fireworks on Saturday night, and I was on dessert. So I made two Annie recipes - Double Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Baileys. Confession: Usually, when I make filled cupcakes with homemade frosting, I'll just use a box mix for the cake. I know, awful, right?! Oh well. Anyway, I modified that Baileys recipe by just using dark chocolate cake mix (no Guinness for me - can't stand the stuff!). Then, I wasn't really liking the taste of the frosting, so I added about a tablespoon or two of my homemade fudge sauce. That did the trick for me! So I guess those cupcakes were sort of like pseudo-mudslide cupcakes?
Awful picture of the insides:
Also, whenever I make filled cupcakes, I always make Doug a sample platter with the leftovers...
Then I made lemon cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Awesome.

Snacking on: I had leftover buttercream. I couldn't let it go to waste, could I?!
YUM. Also... what's summer without milkshakes?!
And not to be totally unhealthy, here's some lemonade.

Now that I seem totally obsessed with food and eating, I suppose I should also share that I have been...

Exercising: I promise! I did another step class Monday morning, and it went much more smoothly than last week. It's actually a great workout once you kind of know what you're doing!

Enjoying: the dog park. Zooey is a riot to watch.

Reading: I have been a reading machine since school let out! I've read a bunch of books, but a few that are worth mentioning are Brave New World (that one had been on my to-read list for quite some time) and Speak. I've become a little obsessed with Goodreads, and I gave Brave New World 3/5 stars and Speak 4/5. I'm also currently reading David Platt's new book Radical Together, in preparation for...

Excited about: Student Life Camp! On Sunday, we are leaving for Alabama with about 30 teenagers. We'll be staying in condos on a beach and attending sessions where David Platt will be the teacher!

Also excited about: Seeing my family this weekend for Emily's graduation!

Extremely proud of: My little sister is the salutatorian!!! Smarty pants!

Listening to: Ben Pasley, of Enter the Worship Circle - his album Chair & Microphone. My favorite song is "Hurricane".

Snapping pictures of: the Brodhagens! You can see some of my favorites here.

Wishing: that Kent, NY was five minutes away.

Missing: Victoria. I had to make jam by myself this morning... and I had no one to panic over the "full roiling boil" with me.


love is the whole

To the man who slipped little poems into my lunches, even when I was student teaching...
Who was out spraying on the tractor in the middle of the night and came to wake me up so I could see the multitudes of fireflies lighting up the woods by the pond...
Who cut my meat for me until the day I was married...
Who played lullabies on his trumpet for his children...
Who burp-danced my colicky baby tummy...
Who picked me a little bouquet of sweet seringa on the morning of a big regents exam...
Happy Father's Day. I love you!

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice...
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)...
because my father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all
-ee cummings


nerds are cool, yo.

(I even donned my glasses to up the nerdom.)

Check out Out of Print Clothing. Their shirts are expensive, but for every shirt you buy, they donate a book to a community in Africa... which is kind of a drop in the bucket. But better than nothing, right?! Anyway, my small group girls gave me a gift certificate, with which I purchased the Great Gatsby shirt I was wearing in the last post. And one of my students gave me another gift certificate, with which I purchased the above sweatshirt. I'm turning into THAT English teacher. Which I'm totally cool with. Almost as cool as I am with dangling prepositions.


chocolate+chocolate+chocolate =

Oh, that combination made these:
(Yeah, that's my sweet Gatsby shirt in the background!)

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies
(Got the idea here)

If you don't like chocolate, then these aren't for you. If you DO like chocolate, then hang on to your seats.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 pan.
2. Make cookie dough (suggested recipe here). Spread in bottom of pan.
3. Cover cookie dough with Oreos, as pictured in previous post.
4. Make brownie batter & dump over Oreos. Spread around evenly.
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
6. Enjoy! This would probably be amazing served warm over ice cream...

I went to my very first "step class" this morning! I had no idea what I was doing and sort of wish I had a video to submit to Youtube for people to laugh at. It was a ton of fun though!

This morning, Zooey was really awesome. She rolled in a dead fish by a pond AND she threw up on the carpet. I was so happy with her this morning...

I'm on the planning committee for our church's upcoming Walk-a-Thon in October. We partner with World Orphans to send the proceeds to the projects in Ethiopia & Kenya, so I am PUMPED to work on this!


immaturity & decadence

So there I was. Trying to log into my Yahoo email. When suddenly an article title caught my eye.

"Teen Student Asked About Weiner"

Am I the only one who needs to grow up?
I imagine the media covering this NYS Representative scandal is in their heyday...

In other news (pun...), here's a preview of what's in the oven right now.
Oh fatty, sugary carbs...


let me eat cake!

Greetings, faithful readers of Parton Ponderings (hey, Mom & Jeanette!).

Today was my last exam! Sing it with me: "Schoooooooool's out for the summer (ba-ba-da!)"

In honor of this always momentous occasion, how better to celebrate than with cake? Or multiple cakes?! Or cakes that look so amazing you just can't stop staring at them & drooling over them?!

I present my new favorite blog: Sweetapolita. HOLY MOLEY. MOLY? MOLEE?
Doesn't just LOOKING at that cake make you feel like a 5-year old all over again?! Not only is it RAINBOW, but children can DECORATE the cake with "AmeriColor Food Colour Markers" - i.e. EDIBLE MARKERS. I mean, seriously?! Can you tell by all the excessive capitalization and punctuation that this is blowing my mind? I want this right now.

If that's not enough, check out THIS.
IT'S ASPARAGUS. BUT IT'S FONDANT. AND CAKE. Completely outrageous and AWESOME. You really need to click that hyperlink to look at the pictures of the asparagus in the works.

Looking at all that confectionary craziness makes me want to bake. Tomorrow is our class party, and I'm feeling inspired by Manda's fauxstess cupcakes - I think I'll try to make them tomorrow!


summer skin

squeaky swings and tall grass
the longest shadows ever cast
the water's warm and children swim
and we frolicked about in our summer skin
-death cab for cutie


how to make my day.

1. What has been your favorite part of American Literature?

"I enjoy just being here. You're so much fun to be with and I don't mind reading at all. The class is just a blast."

Happy last day of school to me.



I just found out my blog is being featured tomorrow on The High Calling... which is pretty awesome & surprising!

Also... I had a dream last night that Doug & I became best friends with David Platt. At the end of the month, our youth group is going to the Student Life Camp where he'll be teaching, so I'm really hoping this dream is prophetic.

**Edit: You can read my little shout-out here. Thanks, David of The High Calling!

memorial day weekend

Our neighbors, Troy & Maria, invited us to spend the weekend at their cottage up North on Lake Walloon. What an amazing time! The weather was fabulous, the lake was beautiful, the town was adorable, the company was awesome, the skin was sun-kissed... perfection.

Straight ballin.
Also ballin. Or Tim-bittin.
View of Walloon Lake from the deck.
Walking down to the dock.
Troy & Maria's dog, Logan, is a master at running and jumping off the dock.
Sadly, I wasn't quick enough with my camera to catch Zooey's first, and subsequently last, time jumping off the dock, but I did catch the pathetic aftermath. Swimming in cold lakes is apparently not Zoo's idea of a good time.
Getting ready for Zooey's first boat ride... she's not sure how she feels...
Turns out boating is totally her thing.
Especially because you can cuddle on the bench seat.
If I had a spare million, this would probably be my future home:
Amazing evening.
Unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures on Memorial Day, because we were too busy touring Petoskey, eating amazing deli sandwiches, eating amazing gelato, soaking in the sun and making Zooey swim at a sandbar on the lake. Such a fun weekend!