May 31, 2011

#4: Finish off my pancake blogs with an all-time winner

I fear the clock has WELL & truly ticked-down for my 30th Birthday 30 Things challenge!! It would take a superwoman effort to finish-off my list in the next 6 hrs (not to mention time & space travel!) 

But there are still a few left up my sleeve to share with you, which I managed to accomplish before the deadline. Including this syrupy one...

Last Saturday morning, at the end of a tiring week & with crisp winter weather closing-in, mum, Nate & I decided it was a perfect stay-in-pj's-and-make-pancake's morning. 

I had been searching for just the right one to finish-off my pancake blogs when this gem popped-up - Gingerbread Pancakes care-of A Cozy Kitchen. Ooo, how I have come to love gingerbread flavors since moving to Nashville. American's have wonderfully perfected this taste & put it into all sorts of goodies. Cloves, ginger & nutmeg are ideal for cold-weather days.

Despite the specific recipe instructions, this was quite an easy mix. It does take a bit of patience & forethought - since cold coffee isn't top of my accessible kitchen ingredients - but if you're not in a hurry & there's friendly company in the kitchen, who's to mind?!

The batter is just the right consistency & easy to cook, the flavors spot-on, and with a little covering of walnuts, you'll be a very happy little pancake-eater!

Yum! I could gobble-up another plate right this second.

If I may ask for grace with the rest of my list, I'd love to carry-on with a few more during my 30th birthday month... Just don't go calling me a cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater!


May 26, 2011

Saying Goodbye

We held my precious Dad's funeral on a chilly Monday in May.

Wayman Douglas Chapman

Dad had red & white roses on his coffin, to match those in his garden at Oakbank.

The beautiful historic church of Holy Trinity was filled with family, friends, work colleagues & church communities - from both here & Sydney.

We sang old hymns of great truth & stirring melody.

Dear friends of Dad's read the bible & prayed victoriously. 

Great men lead the service & faithfully gave the message.

Dad was remembered & God was honored.

His sons-in-law & nephew's carried his coffin.

And each of us missed him so very deeply. 

I couldn't glance at his picture too often that day, or any day after either. It so perfectly captures who he was - his strong & attractive personality, good sense of humor, open nature & genuine desire to hear what new story I had to tell him.

I love my dad. And am so very thankful I was given to him as a child for a time, & a friend for the remainder.  

I will miss him always.


May 19, 2011

For a Time We Must Journey Apart...

My dear dad went home to to be with Jesus on Monday afternoon.

In so many ways I can't understand or reconcile this loss... My only choice is to hold onto God & trust that He saw fit to call dad home far sooner than any of us would've have liked.

My memories of dad are endless. The things that I miss about him will probably never lessen. He was the person we all gravitated toward, who's voice on the other end of the phone could make a bad day good again, who's loyalty to his girls was inspiring & love for Jesus saturated every part of his life. 

And truly, that's just the beginning...

When the earth beneath me crumbles & quakes
not a sparrow falls nor a hair from my head
Without His hand to guide me, my shield & my strength
In joy or in sorrow, in life or in death

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground
my certain hope is in Jesus found
My lot, my cup, my portion sure
whatever comes we shall endure,
whatever comes we shall endure

"In Feast or Fallow" - Sandra McCracken

May 10, 2011

#19: Discover a New London Coffee Haunt

It probably comes as no surprise that this '30 Things' task was accomplished within about 30 nano-seconds of touching-down in London!

The city seems to specialize in trendy little coffee shops serving great coffee, so we had plenty of new places to choose from. And I can't help but proudly mention that a lot of these are run by Aussie's! They have done their best to create a little piece of home in the heart of London. 


The haunt of choice this time was Kaffeine. And it was totally worth the multiple tube-ride, weary walk on Sunday between church services. 

(Nate can be obsessive at times.... For my part, I dragged my feet & declared it better be THE best coffee I'd tasted).

Luckily, they serve a perfect latte! Along with the most delectable array of baked goods. Furthermore, when we visited the next day (yes... obsessive...) we were greeted by this sign - 

I am utterly & totally sold! Kaffeine has my heart & I only wish I could pack it into my suitcase & fly it back to Nashville when we leave...


May 1, 2011

#6: Hang the wallpaper I bought 4 long months ago

Drum roll please........


I have overcome my papering fears & can finally tick this off my "30 Things" list! With the patient help of 2 friends, 1 husband & an overseas wallpaper company* I have avoided gluing my hands to the wall, or the wallpaper to myself, and added a little hypnotic swirl to our upstairs loft.

{how do you like THOSE tracky-dacks. Mm-hmmm...}

Confession #1: this is only a 3/4 high wall, so the trickery of ladders & such did not have to be overcome in this instance.

Confession #2: modern wallpaper lets you stick, un-stick, re-align, mess around & pretty-much start all over again if you so desire! As a result, lining-up & getting straight this decorative pattern wasn't panic-inducing.

I've been needing the push-along to do this for ages, which makes it a genuine "30 Things" challenge & I'm totally thrilled to have taken the plunge! I love the uniqueness of wallpaper, how it changes the room & eliminates the need for many other features in the space. 

Now we just have to hold-on through the summer & pray the paper doesn't slide-off the wall in the sweltering upstairs heat!


*since my wall is miniature I ordered just 1 roll of paper.... Only to run-out with 1 strip to go.  Yes, indeed! What followed was a frantic/sweaty/heart-pounding search for the now "out of print" paper & a long wait for it to fly itself from London to Nashville. Yowzers. Note to all - miniature walls + large-repeat-pattern papers makes for a lot of wasted paper.