Monday, October 20, 2014

milling mondays: whole wheat raspberry almond coffee cake

Who doesn't like raspberries? Last month when raspberries were on major sale I enjoyed these lovely berries and kept thinking how wonderful these raspberries would taste in a dessert. Well, I didn't get around to making a raspberry dessert while the berries were on sale, but I am so glad I still ended up making one. It was delish! This cake was light and moist and not too sweet and the almonds added a nice little crunch. What a great little treat.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Almond Cake


6 oz fresh raspberries
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour (2/3 soft wheat berries and 1/3 hard wheat berries)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together the raspberries and brown sugar and set aside.

If you mill your own flour, grind 2/3 soft wheat berries and 1/3 hard wheat berries. I used my WonderMill on the pastry setting. Sift the flour once to make the cake less dense.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together the egg, sour cream, butter, and vanilla extract.

Mix together the dry and wet ingredients

Then add half of the batter into a greased and floured 8" round baking pan.

Top the batter with the sugared raspberries.

Spoon the remaining batter on top of the raspberries.

Finally, sprinkle the cake with the almond slivers.

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool. Serve with icing if desired. I typically mix together confectioners' sugar with a tiny bit of water and maybe a little vanilla extract.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

sometimes plans change

It is funny how our plans seem to change. Mine do anyway. I often have these great plans (at least in my mind they are) and then they turn out to be exactly that, my plans. Many times the path I think would be best for me is not what God has in store for me.

One of such plans was to get married (check) and then have children (still unchecked five years later). That seems simple enough. It seems to work that way for the majority of people. I don't think this was an unreasonable plan, it just wasn't our plan. I have shared about our journey through infertility here and here. In the latter post I reflected on how something needed to change. And something has. God has done amazing work on our hearts.

During our time of infertility God started preparing me for the possibility of expanding our family through adoption. After God and I wrestled with this for a while, and after spending much time in prayer and seeking counsel from others who have adopted, something changed in our hearts. After all the tears and prayers that went into our journey with infertility, God has filled our hearts with a deep and genuine excitement for adoption. Now we can't imagine not expanding our Carlson family through adoption. I am beyond grateful that both Michael and I have a desire to pursue adoption. In August we became certified to adopt (we are home study ready:)) and are excited to move forward.

Even though we are thrilled to expand our family through adoption, this road isn't easy. There are so many things we can't control. When exactly will we become parents? We don't have the luxury of a nine month warning. We could get the baby's room ready now, but then does it become a reminder of what we don't have? Or will it be a joyful reminder of what to expect? We can't control the expectant mother. We can't control how she lives her life while pregnant. All we can do is pray. Pray she will make good choices and most of all pray the baby will be protected. We had to apply to be parents. And now we are at the mercy of the expectant mother's choosing. We can be chosen only for the expectant mom to change her mind.

Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. Infertility brought many emotions, but adoption brings so many more. Oh, and then there is the enormous cost of bringing our baby home. Of course no cost can compare to our wonderful Carlson baby, but the truth is, without help we can't afford to make this wonderful Carlson baby a reality.

This uncertainty has forced us to lean and trust on God. Already this process has made our faith in God stronger. We have to trust that God is in control and that He is all-knowing. This process has also made our marriage stronger. It has forced us to communicate our desires and concerns in
an even deeper way. It has forced us to lean on each other in moments that are completely out of our control. We have already had to lean on our community and many have invested and supported us through this journey already. For this I am beyond grateful. Even though we may have a long way to go still - this journey has already been such a testament to how important it is to be part of a loving and supportive community.

I was talking to a friend a while ago who reminded me of the incredible privilege it is to adopt. Even if it is not an easy road, God has entrusted us to look after this child. To care for His child. To be part of His plan. To partake in His mission. What an honor that He would entrust me. Me! That He considers me worthy despite being unworthy of this.

We are so grateful to be headed toward adoption, but we know this is not something we can do on our own. So if you would like to be a part of this journey, here are some ways you could join us:

1. PRAY. Please pray for God’s continued guidance, financial provision, and protection for our future baby.

2. BUY A SHIRT. Ten dollars from every shirt you buy will go toward our adoption

3. MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please go to

If you have any questions or are interested in helping us in other ways, please feel free to contact us at

Friday, October 17, 2014

happy birthday to my parents

Happy birthday to my sweet parents. These two were born only hours apart, but on two different days. 
So today (on my mom's birthday) I want to wish them both a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
We love you both and wish we could have celebrated with you. 

**i usually don't like celebrating them both on the same day so they can each have their own day:) ... but we are hoping to give a special update/announcement on the blog tomorrow so I wanted to make sure to give them both a shout out today**