The Post About Adoption and a $50 Gift Card Giveaway


I've spent November baking. Let's review the sweet smut, shall we?

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That's a Pecan Pie Cupcake with pie filling as frosting in the middle. 

Yeah, I agree.

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There was cake on sticks. 

Which really is the best way to eat it.

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Our beloved college football was represented. I did not discriminate, although Roll Tide.

There was a method to the kitchen madness. November is National Adoption Month and I sold some diabetic unfriendliness to raise money for the cause.

Specifically, I was raising funds for my friend/coworker Lisa and her husband Barry who are adopting a little fellow from Russia.

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She even got in on the baking action. My other coworkers have been supporting her efforts too!
You can learn more about domestic or international adoption by checking out the following:

AdoptUSKids is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. The mission of AdoptUSKids is two-fold: to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children in the public child welfare system; and to assist states to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children.
Show Hope is a non-profit organization that mobilizes individuals and communities to meet the most pressing needs of orphans in distress by providing 1) homes for waiting children through adoption aid grants, and 2) life-saving medical care for orphans with special needs. 

As one more effort to help raise awareness about the very important issue of adoption, I'm hosting a giveaway.

$50 Options Gift Card - Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta
Leave a comment answering this:
Who's one of your favorite family members? Why?

**2 Extra Entries**
Each of the following will give you 1 extra entry.

1. "Like" AdoptUSKids on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
2. "Like" Show Hope on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

 Make sure to leave a separate comment for each, whether you're doing it for the first time or you've already done it in the past.

Important Details: Open to anyone 18 or older in the US or Canada. Must enter before 11:59pm CST on Wednesday, December 7 to qualify. Winner will be chosen randomly using
Research Randomizer and announced next week. Obviously, anonymous folks can't win unless they leave a name in the comment.  

Disclaimer: Although I'm a huge supporter of Adopt US Kids, Show Hope, and all the retailers on that gift card, none of them know the first thing about this blog or giveaway. 

{photos: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.104

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. 

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

Little Debbie Christmas Tree cake
This is the Christmas Music Must-Have Edition.

Rabbit Sidebar: I waited patiently until the turkey was fully digested on Thursday before indulging in holiday music. It wasn't easy to withhold since there seemed to be Santa soundtracks on every corner. I wanted desperately to harmonize with each one of them.

Here's 10 songs to add to your Peace on Earth playlist.

1. Love Is Christmas by Sara Bareilles
This is brand new out of the Bareilles box in 2011. "Love is who we are, and no season can contain it." I would punch a reindeer in the face if that line could be true.

2. Be Born In Me by Francesca Battistelli
This is "Mary's Song" from the new album Music Inspired by The Story (an album I highly recommend you splurge on.) I've always fancied lyrics from the perspective of Jesus' young mom like Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant. But this one? "I'll hold you in the beginning, You will hold me in the end." I'm a wreck.

3. O Come, O Come Emmanuel by The Civil Wars
There is no Christmas song I love more than this. The very reason of the season sung by the reason for duos.

4. Mary and Joseph by Dave Barnes

I could have chosen any song from Dave's album "Very Merry Christmas" and it would have been a winner. But this one is quaint and unexpected.

5. Winter Snow by Audrey Assad
Rabbit Confession: I adore Chris Tomlin's songwriting, but not necessarily his voice. So when he wrote this beautiful conversation with Christ, I sighed with relief that Ms. Assad was chosen to sing lead.

6. River by Joni Mitchell
I first heard this song during an episode of Alias. Sydney learns her childhood was even more messed up than she previously believed. This song plays while Vaughn comforts her. I wouldn't mind Vaughn comforting me. This concept may impact my infatuation with this song.

If this description resonates, then we could be best friends.

7. I Wonder as I Wander by Audra McDonald and Mormon Tabernacle Choir
This is one of my Mom's favorites. Mine too.

8. Carol of the Bells by Straight No Chaser
This songs just screams white gloves and frosted breath to me. And guys who can sing harmony is never a bad thing.

9. Christmastime is Here by Vince Guaraldi
Charlie Brown and Kevin McAllister. Classic.

10.  Winter Song by Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles
If you have a dinner party and play this song in the background, then your guests will hug you and drop twenties in your candy dish. The song is that good.

What's one of your favorite Christmas songs? What song will make you want to shoot Santa before the season is wrapped?

{image: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.103

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. 

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here. 

I have 13 books on my Kindle waiting to be clicked. Let me get back to you.

Spoiler: Mindy Kaling's new book is one of them and I'm fairly certain it will make a future Rabbit Recs appearance.


My 30's brought with it a love for documentaries. I assume I'll only be watching Frontline and John Wayne films before the end of the year.

Man on Wire absolutely wrecked me because it was THAT good (rent it pronto.) So when I learned the same team behind that film had produced another... I was in. Project Nim is the funny and heartbreaking story of a chimp in a 1970s science experiment who was raised as part of a human family. And there's no way around. It's a learning experience. You re-learn that humans and animals are comical, poignant and disturbing. A lesson worth revisiting.


I fell for Gavin Degraw after hearing "We Belong Together" from the movie Tristan & Isolde. That was the same moment I fell for Mr. James Franco. Since his platinum debut release, Chariot, was such delightful ear candy - I immediately picked up Degraw's next two albums. But I was disappointed. So when his newest album, Sweeter, released this September, I would only listen via Spotify. No financial commitment. Once I realized I was leaving it on repeat every single day, I decided the buyer's risk was minimal. Must-download singles: Not Over You, Soldier, and Stealing.

Recommending Disclaimer: I don't suggest anything because I get it free or because I have some sort of illicit relationship with an old man who likes documentaries. I save all of those questionable dealings for those who comment on blog posts.


The Post About Random Rabbits

I want to write a thoughtful post about relationships or the struggle of navigating the day to day life. 

But this isn't really that blog.

So let's chase some rabbits.

They tease with their pretty faces and their falling gingerly on weekend afternoons. Then you suddenly return to reality and realize what's happened. 

Your yard is CRAP FULL OF LEAVES. 

Nature is overrated.

Birthday Gift
My mom bought me this canvas bag. She said it combined my love for my first initial and my name. She said it was a "wonderful and personal" gift.

She insisted I write that.

She did not insist I tell you she got it free from Vista Print.

Poor Planning
This is the caption I posted on this Instagram pic: "Specs and a ginormous hand. The former is because I'm amazing at ordering right contacts, but not left. The latter is just because."

However, I've had more than one coworker tell me I look more intelligent in glasses and should continue to wear them. 

Is it paranoid to think there have been secret meetings with an agenda including how to replace the numbskull marketing director? 

I failed to highlight one of the biggest accomplishments of my entire life - being named a Resident of Awesometown on Knox McCoy's site. I've already mentioned why I adore Mr. McCoy and I assume you now stalk him as much as I do. 

My immigration into Awesometown featured the most ridiculous set of interview questions I've ever answered. 

And I worked at Payless Shoes.    

So scurry to read my responses. Here's a sample of the hard hitting inquiries:
  • If you could crystallize your life mantra into a pithy statement, what would that be?
  • Favorite fictional character?
  • Who is the Frank Sinatra of our generation?
  • In 5 years, time travel will not only be possible, but it will be commercialized. As such, you are invited to participate in the Laser Tag Championship of All-Time, which is no doubt sponsored by ESPN and Geico. Spanning recorded history, name the 3 people you would select for your team and why?
  • A song featured in the movie Juno by The Moldy Peaches contains the following lyric: “I want more fans / you want more stage.” If you were a musician, which would you prefer? More fans, which speaks to your popularity or more stage, which speaks to your superior skill level as a musician?
{images: Jamie}


The Post About Why Introverts Didn't Think I Was Adorable

I recently had a cake pop consultation with a delightful girl who is turning 8 years old this month.

Her mother sat nearby prompting her to answer my inquiries about favorite colors, design preferences, and ideas for birthday tags. 

However, Ila was having none of it. She demured, avoided eye contact, and spoke a silent language to her mom pleading for rescue from this encounter.

You see, Ila is an introvert. And I am not.

And Ila sensed she was in the midst of a battle. She seemed to think I was trying to convert her. It was if she was staring out the window watching the Jehovah's Witness pull in the driveway. To speak words out loud to me would be the same as opening the front door with a pitcher of sweet tea and inviting me in.

And she wouldn't be wrong. 

I'm a recovering extrovert converter.

Here's the mythical basis of my conversion theology and the realities that forced me to put down the evangicube.

Myth: Introverts are shy.
Reality: Maybe, but maybe not. It could just be they are not particularly fond of me. 

Myth: Introverts don't like small talk.
Reality: It may be they don't necessarily like small talk about actors named "Matt" and why people drive slow in the left lane.

Myth: Introverts are weird.
Reality: There's a black pot on the stove and a plank in my eye.

I'm now an educated extrovert. So no more trying to turn the introvert or heal them from their alleged affliction. Introverts, you are welcome here. There is no condemnation in Christ.

There is also no condemnation in not dancing on the table with me.

As for Ila...This is how she "said" thank you at the end of our cake pop meeting.

She ignored that door bell and The Watchtower magazine tucked in the screen door and went about her way. 

{image: Jamie}


The Post About The Rabbit Recommends v.102

Each week or so I post a readable or watchable and/or a listenable of which I'm fond. You can choose what happens after my recommendation. Ignore, embrace, debate. 

Earlier volumes of The Rabbit Recommends can be found here.

Yep, I read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (on a Kindle which felt slightly disrespectful.) It was everything I hoped for and more. I wanted an understanding of the man behind the brand. I wanted lessons I could apply to my own life. I wanted juicy gossip that a behind-the-curtain biography can often bring. It delivered. The unexpected surprise was the insight about adoption. I think it's a must-read for every adoptive parent, particularly if you adopt an infant. Nature and nurture are both powerful and one is never sufficient in telling a person's whole story.  

Disclaimer: There were moments when it felt tech heavy and my ADD may have skipped a few paragraphs.


I originally gave this show a shot because the lead character was played by Andrew Lincoln. I've crushed on him since he held up posters describing his unrequited love to Keira Knightley in Love Actually. Am I the only one? Seriously...The Walking Dead on AMC is per. fec. tion. It follows a small group of survivors trying to find a new home fenced off from the undead after a zombie apocalypse. For the record, I think zombies are ridiculous. I also think this show is superb. Catch up on the first season on Netflix.


I wandered around iTunes Genius recommendations this week and they were just that. Based on my adoration for The Civil Wars, it suggested Elenowen. When I expressed my disappointment about having not heard of them before now, Twitter pointed out they were on the TV show, The Voice. I explained that Christina Aguilera and I are in a legal dispute since she stole $7.99 from me with her last album, Bionic. Therefore, we try not to cross paths.

Get thee to Brite Revolution and listen in on Elenowen's live session and download it for free. Also, Save Me and The Storm, two excellent album tracks, are also available for free download. 

Recommending Disclaimer: I don't suggest anything because I get it free or because I have some sort of illicit relationship with Apple or zombies. "Illicit" is really not the right word.


The Post About Friends Who Are Cheerleaders and The Other Option

I was sick last Friday. The day before my birthday.

Crazy sick.

The type of sick that prompts you to consider your time on Earth and then determine it's probably been sufficient.

This was a cry for help to my two best friends:
Kara and Caryann provide accountability, laughter, honesty, vulnerability and a love for God that is often unparalleled. One of these confidantes is a "cheerleader" and one is a little less that.

Can you guess who's who by their responses to my text?

Kara is my cheerleader. Caryann is the other one.

But don't we need both? 

We need those friends who will lift us up with spirit fingers and tell us everything will be okay. We also need those friends who will shake us and ask "Have you lost your ever-lovin' mind?" 

Do you have both? Which kind of friend are you?


The Post About 10 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do

All but 4 people I know can sew. Or knit. Or crochet. Or convert a 1989 leg warmer to a nifty set of mittens.

The ones who lack these skills can cook without a microwave, rebuild an engine, or write haikus about beauty pageants that will make you well up like a newborn. 

I recently stumbled upon this book:

Let me share with you just 10 of the 67 things in this book I don't know how to do.
1. Perform Basic First Aid: If "basic" refers to 4 ibuprofen and a Snickers bar, then call me Dr. Jamie. 
2. Drive a Manual Transmission Vehicle: I can only manage one foot at a time.
3. Deliver Bad News: I'm not your go-to on this one. I get uncomfortable with discomfort. Especially my own.
4. Travel Light: I'm typing this while in a hotel room at a work conference. I'll be at 2 gatherings in 24 hours. I packed 5 outfits and 5 pairs of shoes. As much as I think I will work out while traveling...I won't.
5. Select Good Produce: I just assume you should smell the item. As to what it should smell like...I'm out.
6. Handle a Hammer, Axe or Handsaw: This is why I have a father. And pictures hung awkwardly high on the wall to cover the first 3 hole attempts.
7. Do Push-Ups and Sit-Ups Properly: My muffin top has won this battle. And war.
8. Flirt: I practiced flirting this week after a lunch lesson from some guy friends. The observers' conclusion? "Jamie, you're going to need more low cut shirts."
9. Be a Respectful House Guest: I'm the snazziest hostess, but I will come and stay with you and sift through your medicine cabinet, try on your heels, and eat your fancy crackers.
10. Remove a Stain: Do I sometimes pretend the spot on a favorite piece of clothing just happened rather than admit I'm intentionally wearing stained clothing? That's ridiculous.

Can you do all of these? What other things should you know how to do that you don't?

{images: Jamie, Amazon}
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