Butter Broasted Carrots

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They aren’t exactly braised.  They aren’t exactly roasted.  They’re somewhere in between…they’re broasted.  And they are exactly how I’m cooking up six pounds of carrots this weekend.  I know that sounds like a whole hell of a lot but between a carrot loving toddler, the base for a carrot soup, and a pot luck contribution, I think it might not be enough.

Butter Broasted Carrots

Adapted from Cooking Light, Pick Fresh

BAH Note:  I’m a wimp when it comes to high heat roasting.  It always ends up badly for me.  If you are braver than I am, try using Cooking Light’s recommended temp of 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Me, I take a lower and slower approach.

  • 2 to 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Combine the carrots, butter, olive oil, and salt on the baking sheet and toss to fully coat the carrots.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots reach your desired tenderness.

{printable recipe}

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Breand and Butter Pickles

Bread and Butter Pickles

Allow me a Seinfeld moment….what’s the deal with Bread and Butter Pickles?  There is neither bread nor butter in the recipe.  So they’re called Bread and Butter because????

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk quick pickles.  Quick pickles are one of those things that are so simple to make that it’s embarrassing to admit I had never made them before.

They don’t require any processing…meaning no standing over a vat of boiling water in the dead of summer.  My A/C has a hard enough time keeping up with the effects of global warming outside my house.  The last thing I need is to turn the kitchen into a sauna and ask my tired Carrier to work that much harder.

In their simplest form, they don’t need any exotic ingredients…meaning you’ve probably got the most essential of the ingredients in your pantry. Got some salt, sugar, and vinegar?  Then you’ve got the makings of a quick pickle.

They are essentially a blank canvas…meaning that if you choose to, you can fancy them up.  Give them an Asian flare with soy sauce and rice vinegar.  Go bold with red pepper flakes.   Or maybe try the timeless classic combination of garlic and dill.

They make quick work of almost any vegetable you happen to have….meaning all those cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, carrots, and squash don’t have to languish on your counter or in your crisper until they start collapsing in on themselves. I can’t begin to calculate the amount of produce I have wasted that could have been pickled instead of being trashed.

So I finally got my act together.  And in the time it took to slice, salt, rinse, boil, and cool (all of maybe 90 minutes) I had a jar of pickles in the fridge at the ready.  As Ina would say, how easy is that?

Bread and Butter Pickles

BAH Note:  Be sure you use whole mustard seed and celery seed.  Without going in to the sad details of how I know, the ground versions of the spices don’t work as an even swap.  These pickles are not meant to be shelf stable.  They need to be refrigerated.

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine the sliced cucumbers and salt in a bowl and let them sit for 30 minutes.  Transfer the cucumbers to a colander, rinse well, and then spoon into a bowl or jar along with the onions.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the brine comes to a nice simmer.

Carefully pour the hot brine over the cucumbers and onion.  Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then cover and refrigerate.  Give them a day or two and then enjoy them while they last.

 {printable recipe}

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Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

This crumble represents a celebration of sorts.  On this particular occasion I was:

Celebrating an afternoon spent with friends and indulging in laughter, retail therapy, and insanely good biscuits.

Celebrating progress getting Miss Libby into a new sleep routine.

Celebrating friends who love my child enough to read the same story over and over and do it in character voices.

Celebrating plans that go awry but end up working out the way they were meant to all along.

Celebrating glorious summer days where the trees dance in the breeze and the windows are open.

Celebrating the generosity of others who share their bounty with me.

Celebrating the support of friends and family who remind me that I’m not in any of this alone.

Does it get much better than that?

Peach Blueberry Basil Crumble

Adapted from Bon Appetit

BAH Note: This is what happens when  I buy peaches but don’t have time to wait for them to ripen enough to eat.  I start looking for what else I can do with them.  This particular time I had a perfect bunch of basil and a pint of blueberries.  I just threw them together and let the heat of the oven work its magic.  You can use whatever combination of fruit you have (peaches, plums, berries, cherries, whatever floats your boat) so where I called this Peach Blueberry Basil, you might call it something else entirely.  It goes without saying that if Basil ain’t your thing then skip that ingredient.  And word to the wise, put your dish on a baking sheet…bubbling fruit juice is rocket hot and that’s no joke.

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 stick butter, chilled and cubed
  • 8 cups mixed fruit  (see Note above)
  • 1 cup sugar (if you want to get fancy, put the basil and your sugar in a small container, cover, give it a good shake, and then let it sit for a hour or so to allow the basil to infuse the sugar and the sugar to sort of crystallize the basil).
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • fresh basil (I pinched off about three small bunches of leaves from my plant)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Working in short pulses, combine the flour, brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the oats in a food processor.  Add the cubed butter and continue to pulse until the butter is fully combined and no dry spots remain in the mixture.

If you put the basil in your granulated sugar, remove the basil, use your thumbnail to tear it into small bits, return it to the sugar, and give it one more good shake.

Place the fruit, granulated sugar, corn starch, basil, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and stir until fully combined.  Transfer the fruit to a baking dish and top with the oat mixture.  Bake for approximately 60 to 70 minutes or until the juices bubble and the topping browns.  Allow the crumble to cool for about an hour before digging in.

{printable recipe}

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Homemade Magic Shell

Magic Shell

I’ve been hiding something and I need to finally set it free…I am impulsive.  There, I said it.  My impulsiveness comes in two different flavors.

There is the entitled impulsiveness like when I see a little something that makes me WANT it in the same way that my child WANTS damn near everything (as two year olds do).  That led to an embarrassing amount of consumer debt as I tried to keep up with all of The Joneses around me.  And I’m hard pressed to recall one single thing that I absolutely HAD TO HAVE in those moments.  Thankfully, that debt has been retired and I strive to be more mindful about the why when I feel WANT’S manic urge creeping up on me.

There is a productive impulsiveness that compels me to DO.  I’ll see a project and I simply won’t rest until I start working on it.  That would explain the random assortment of craft related items overtaking the limited storage space in my tiny house.  See, I’m better with the starting the projects than I am with the finishing.  For example, Libby just turned two and I have yet to finish creating the first year of her baby book.  But then again, this is the impulsiveness that gives me a creative outlet and I’ve got one hell of a nice felted wool blanket as proof that sometimes I stick it out and see a project through from start to finish.

Although maybe I am actually hounded by a third kind of impulsiveness…a hybrid of the WANT and the DO (WAND? DONT?)  This is the torment that comes from seeing something that I WANT (NOW!) and then focusing on how and when can I DO it.  And I mean a singular focus on when I can DO it.  Almost obsessive.

That’s how I came to experience Homemade Magic Shell.  That recipe showed up all around the internet and every time I saw it I wanted it desperately.  It made me pretty crazy until I could find the time to make a batch.  It was that itch that you just can’t reach no matter how much you stretch your arm behind your back.  And then, one day, it  happened.

I melted, cooled, and drizzled.  And I decided sometimes impulsiveness tastes like chocolate.

Magic Shell

Adapted from chocolateandcarrots.com

BAH Note:  Scale this recipe to your liking.  I like it too much to keep much of it on hand in it’s magical form so I only make this wee batch.

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dark or milk, your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Combine the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on  high, stopping to stir every 15 seconds, until the chocolate and coconut oil are melted.

Carefully remove from the microwave and stir to combine thoroughly.  Once cooled to room temp it will magically firm up when you drizzle it over ice cream.

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temp.

{printable recipe}

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Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

Brownie Ice Cream Sammich

What kind of crazy made me think  it was reasonable to order my child’s birthday present six days before her birthday and expect to get away with it?

The kind of crazy that comes from sleep deprivation.

Who in their right mind orders their child’s present three times, from three different vendors, and pays for expedited shipping, counting on at least one of them to show up in time?

Nobody in their right mind, obviously.

And that would be the same kind of mindless crazy that made me think I needed to see if I would like a brownie ice cream sandwich recipe.

I can’t believe I even considered such a question.  Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?  Brownie + ice cream = classic.  It’s the dessert equivalent of a little black dress.

I don’t yet know how the birthday present situation is going to end.  Two of the three orders have been cancelled and Amazon SWEARS that the Peppa Pig Playhouse will arrive in two days.  Only time will tell.

What I do know is that I need to exercise restraint when it comes to this brownie ice cream sandwich because it is ridiculously easy to make and it got enthusiastic thumbs up from every member of the household.  Which means it could make frequent appearances in our home.  Which means I might have easy access to brownies and ice cream on a regular basis.

I think I gained five pounds just considering that possibility.

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

BAH Note: Deb used 8 inch square pans to bake her brownie layers.  I used 9 inch round pans, because that’s what I have in my kitchen.  Either one will give you thin brownie perfection. Since I used round pans, I turned a big circle into a square by cutting off the curves after the layers had been sandwiched together and frozen.  Those scraps may have been nibbled on to get a quick fix when nobody was looking….what you do with them is between you and your conscience.

Be sure to smooth out the batter as much as possible in your pan.  It’s pretty thick and takes some gentle convincing to cover the bottom of the pan.  Oh, and you need to clear space in your freezer to stash the cake pans as soon as they come out of the oven and to store your finished product.

According to Deb, “you can store the cut sandwiches in an airtight container or bag in the freezer as-is, or individually wrapped in squares of waxed paper. They should keep for at least two months in the freezer, but good luck with that.”

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped or broken
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pint ice cream, slightly thawed

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line two cake pans (see note above) with baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, cooking in 30 second increments and stirring in between.  Add the sugar and stir until completely combined before stirring in the eggs and salt.  Add the flour, folding it into the batter just until it disappears.

Spray your parchment lined pans with cooking spray and divide the batter between the two pans.  Use a spatula or spoon to smooth the batter out in the pans and bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until a tester inserted in the brownie comes out clean.

Place the cake pans on a dish towel or pot holders and transfer to the freezer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes for the brownies to cool completely and become firm.  While the brownie layers cool in the freezer, set your ice cream out to thaw a bit.

Once the brownie layers have cooled, gently remove the brownie from one pan, peel off the parchment, and set the brownie on a plate.  Use a paper towel to wipe the cake pan clean and line it completely with parchment, freezer paper, or plastic wrap making sure it extends up the sides.  Return the brownie layer to the pan, placing the flat smooth side up facing you.  Remove the brownie from the second pan, discard the parchment, and set the brownie on a plate.

Working quickly, stir your ice cream so that it is spreadable and spoon or scoop it into your prepared pan.  Use a spoon or spatula to spread the ice cream into an even layer on top of the brownie.  Top with the second brownie, flat side down, and cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap.  Use the now empty cake pan to press down on the layers and return the stacked pans to the freezer.

Freeze for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until your sandwiches are completely frozen.  Use the parchment, freezer paper, or plastic wrap extending up the sides of your pan to remove the giant sandwich from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into single servings.

{printable recipe}

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7.20.14

2014 Birthday Collage Low Res

Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday to you.

Happy birthday dear Libby.  Happy birthday to you.

I love you to pieces.

Momma

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Foolproof Broiled Pork Chops

I hate bedtime.

Wait, let me clarify.  I love my bedtime.  But I dread Libby’s.

Up until a few months ago, we had a solid routine.  A little Peppa Pig, Charlie and Lola, or Yo Gabba Gabba!, dinner, play, pajamas, books and cuddles, then lights out.  Libby would even tap on her crib to let me know that yes, it’s time for night night.  There might be a few tears after I put her down, but usually nothing more than 5 or 10 minutes, and the rest of the evening was available for other things like chores, projects, and catching up on Tivo because the Libster was down for the night.

God I miss those days.

Now our routine is more like cartoons, dinner, play, bath, books, and lights out followed by tossing and turning, crocodile tears, fingers in my eyes, fingers in her eyes, and any other delay tactic she can come up with to avoid closing her eyes and going to sleep.  For a while she was milking the “my mouth hurts” ploy to get extra cuddles.  Now she just straight up melts down when I try and leave her room.  Even when I think she’s asleep, as soon as I take a step towards the door her little head whips around off the pillow and the drama commences.  Lather, rinse, and repeat at intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours…All. Night. Long.

On a good night, if the stars have aligned and I managed to appease the gods, it can take as little as one hour to go from bath to sleep.  I’d say very few nights in the last few months have been “good” nights.  Sometimes I fall asleep waiting for her to give up the fight.  Other times I’ve given up after multiple trips back into her room to calm my tiny tyrant and either crawled in bed with her or brought her in bed with me.

I’ve gotten a  LOT of well meaning advice and I’ve done my own researching.  Yes, I tried letting her cry…90 minutes of sustained rage didn’t do any of us a damn bit of good.  Yes, I ruled out ear infections and teething.  Yes, I offered loveys and turned on white noise.  And she’s having none of it.  What she wants is to fall asleep being held and to not wake up alone.

You know, I can’t say that I blame her because those are pretty nice things no matter how old you are…this life lessons courtesy of my 2 year old.

My point is that there’s a lot of tired going around my house.  And not a whole lot of anything else.  Which is to say that sometimes I make some food.  And occasionally I get a pretty picture before shoving it in my face.  This is not one of those times.  You’re just going to have to trust me on this one that the end result is worthwhile.

And if you’re chronically sleep deprived, don’t you dare feel bad about putting on whatever cartoon it takes to occupy your tiny tyrant so you can rest your eyes while the chops do their thing in the brine.

Foolproof Broiled Pork Chops

Adapted from Cook’s Country

BAH Note: If you follow a few easy steps you will be rewarded with the perfect chop.  This is really just the method for achieving the perfect chop.  You can dress them up with a compound butter (see below) after they come out of the oven.  Or not.  I think they are absolute perfection in their naked state.

The folks at CC advise that your oven rack should be about 5 inches from your broiler element.  If you can’t get it this close, or if using the broiler scares the bejeebus out of you, go for more distance between the rack and the broiler.  You’ll need to cook the chops a little longer but you’ll also give yourself a little buffer with that fine line between broiled and charred.

If you are inclined to spice things up, rub the chops with your spice mixture of choice before they go in the oven.  Reserve some of the spices and stir them into 2 tablespoons of softened butter.  When the chops come out of the oven, slather them with the compound butter before tucking them in to rest.

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 center cut, bone in chops, about 1.5 inches thick
  • 6 cups cold water

Combine the sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir until completely dissolved.  Add the chops, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Turn the oven to broil.  Remove the chops from the brine, pat dry, and place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Set the baking sheet on the oven rack and carefully pour 1.5 cups warm water into the bottom of the baking sheet.

Broil for approximately 20 minutes, turning the chops over after about 10 minutes, until they register 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Transfer the chops to a platter and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes.  Let the water and baking sheet cool down in the oven while you enjoy your succulent chops.

{printable recipe}

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

cupcake ninja

Did you know that cupcakes can be so good that they need protection?  They can.  These are.  Let me  tell you how they came to be.

After stumbling across Movita Beaucoup’s delightful blog, courtesy of More Stomach, I added her feed to my reader.  Not long after that she had the nerve to post a recipe for one bowl yellow cake with lemon buttercream frosting.  Now I do love me a one bowl recipe as evidenced by my sworn allegiance to Abby Dodge’s Emergency Chocolate Cupcakes, so I had to investigate the Beaucoup. Luckily, Easter presented an opportunity to give them a go and they instantly won me over.

The cake is pillowy soft with an enjoyable tang from the buttermilk.  It makes a perfect canvas for whatever flavors you want to showcase.  For Easter I threw the zest of one lemon into the cake batter and then made a strawberry lemonade frosting.  They were a homerun.

Fast forward a few months and I was trying to find the perfect treat to make for my cousins who were visiting from Detroit.  I threw out a few options in a conversation that went something like this:

Me:  I can’t make a damn decision about what to bake for Cousins Birthday on Friday. Here’s the options….how about you pick:  Apple Upside Down Cake; Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars; Caramel Apple Muffins; One Bowl Yellow Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting.

Jen: Looking at recipes…I’m leaning towards the yellow cake or the pb&j bars!

Me: What do you think about the yellow cake with a jelly filling and peanut butter buttercream frosting?

Jen: Ummm. Amazing.  Omg. Pb frosting.  You’re a genius!

Me: As Daddy Pig tells Peppa, I am a bit of an expert ; )

So it was that I set about turning the easiest yellow cake into an homage to the classic pb&j sandwich.  I kept strictly to the cake recipe….no tweaks, no additions, no deviations.  Once the cupcakes had cooled, I used my favorite unitasker to make a hole in the middle for the jelly to hide…and those little cupcake cores may or may not have become a perfect little snack as I filled and frosted.  Next came the jelly and a generous dollop of peanut butter frosting.   All that was left to do was keep them safe until after dinner and shove them in our faces.

Hence, the ninja.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

Adapted from Movita Beaucoup and Brown Eyed Baker

BAH Note: I had to make a second batch of cupcakes because I overfilled the tin on my first batch which caused me to overbake the cupcakes and completely mangle the goods trying to get them out of the pan.  Learn from my mistake and don’t fill your pan any more than half full.  I ended up using about two tablespoons of batter per cupcake in the second batch and it was spot on.

I lost track of exactly how many cupcakes I got but this recipe will make approximately 12, or a single 8 inch round cake.  If you have a little batter leftover after filling your pan, drop cupcake paper into glass jars or custard cups and make a few extras for snacking…nobody has to know.

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Line a cupcake tin and heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the workbowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater and mix on low for about one minute.

Add the butter and mix on low for about two minutes until the mixture resembles sand and no large bits of butter remain.

Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix for about two minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.  Add the egg and mix until combined.  Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and give the batter a final mix to ensure no pockets of flour remain.

Fill each cup with approximately 2 tablespoons batter and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely.

Remove a small core from each cupcake and fill the hole with your choice of jam, jelly, or preserve before topping with frosting.

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Place the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

{printable recipe}

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Pudding Pops

Pudding Pop

Dear Libby,

I hope that you will always have golden summer moments like this one.

Love,

Momma

Pudding Pops

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan and The Craving Chronicles

BAH Note: These pops are ridiculously easy to pull together.  Just remember that they need time to do their thing in the freezer before they are ready to serve.  Of course, you can skip the pop part and just dive into the bowl of pudding.  Either way, you really can’t go wrong.

Many thanks to Theresa of The Craving Chronicles for introducing me to Dorie Greenspan’s pudding recipe. My apologies to Ms. Greenspan for monkeying with her process to make it fit my style.  Regardless of how I got there, the final product may change my life, or at least my waistline.

  • 2 1/4 cups milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Combine the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.  Stir to completely combine the melted butter and chocolate and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of milk, vanilla, 3 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, egg and yolks.

Add the remaining ingredients (2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, cocoa powder, and salt) to a medium saucepan.  Whisk until the cocoa is thoroughly combined and the liquid looks like chocolate milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture just comes to a steam.

Working in several small batches, whisk 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the steaming milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir to combine.  Whisk the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the pudding thickens.  Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer (to catch any bits of cooked egg) into another bowl.  Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture and stir until fully combined.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it down onto the top of the pudding, and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or until completely chilled.  Spoon the chilled pudding into your molds and freeze.  Let the pops sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

 {printable recipe}

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1.20.14

Cheeeeese

Dear Libby, I took this picture of you today.  Somehow, in this moment you aren’t my 18 month old.  No, in this moment I see the big girl you will become peeking out at me.  And it makes me all melty inside because it happens so quickly.

I swear it was just yesterday you were this wee crying baby that we brought home.  And now you say actual words like cat, night night, elmo, more, and up.  You don’t just walk, you run…even when there isn’t enough room for you to, you run at full speed.  I’ve watched you mimic with your dolls the things your Dad and I do with you…you give them medicine, you feed them, you show them books, and you hug and kiss on them.  Watching you be the momma taking care of your dolls reminds me that you don’t miss a trick and I need to be mindful that your eyes are always on me.

You won’t remember these days.  So I want you to know that even from the time you were just getting to know the world, you found joy in it, sometimes in the most unlikely places.  Whether it’s turning any request into a game of catch me, providing the sound effects when we read that all the hippos go bezerk, or discovering that momma’s black loafers and old watch are the perfect accessories, you embrace where you are. I hope you will always hold on to that trait.

I also want you to know how you got that the tiny scar by your right eye.  By the time you grow up it will probably be hardly noticeable, but I will always know it’s there.  And so before that particular detail gets lost to me….you had a real knack for knocking into the coffee table.  Usually it just resulted in a bump or bruise.  But this one time you hit the corner just right and got a cut that turned into your very first scar.  I know you can’t even see it in this picture, but I promise you it’s there. I also know it won’t be the only hurt you will ever experience but I hope that the others that are sure to come will fade in time as well.

Happy half birthday to you dear Libby.  I love you to pieces.

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