Monday, December 22, 2014

Life Lately | Simple Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe

3 6 December has been... trying to say the least. We started the month off with a stomach bug that was absolutely terrible for little Klair. I'm not sure I've ever seen her more miserable... and it broke my heart. Luckily she felt better in time for her birthday party, but this turned out to be a short reprieve because we each came down with a nasty flu/cold immediately after. That was over 2 weeks ago... and we all still have it to some extent. We still haven't even really had a chance to celebrate my birthday yet (which was on the 10th). Luckily Klair seems to be over the worst of it now, but I'm still quite sickly and Sam's symptoms are up and down. We're all feeling... exhausted and sick of being sick.

I will definitely appreciate having good health once we have it back again. Klair has some serious cabin fever lately, so I've been promising to take her all sorts of places once we're better. Everyday she tells me now "I get better, go to park" or "museum." I feel bad these haven't actually come to fruition yet, but I think the hope of them is still a positive thing for her to cling to. I'm praying that we will get better in time for Christmas. We have so many things going on this week with family and friends... I really hope we won't have to cancel on everyone.

Despite the misery of having a sick family, we have found ways to still have indoor, low key fun while trying to enjoy the Christmas season. We've been doing lots of puzzles, play dough, coloring books, reading, and bubble baths around here. Oh, and Christmas music. Klair loves singing all the different Christmas songs, and even though my voice is pretty awful right now we've been singing a lot. We've also taken drives to see Christmas lights and local temples, and I'll be honest, we've watched way more TV/movies than usual. I try to minimize that as much as possible, but when you have a sick kid it's sometimes all you can do to take their mind off of the pain and keep them happy/rested.

Tonight I was feeling extra ambitious and we even made these sugar cookies (the recipe is so easy and absolutely divine, definitely a keeper). I loved how truly happy it made Klair! She loved it. Sam and I even got into it, creating our own designs because my supply of Christmas cookie cutters is more pathetic than I realized. I'm pretty proud of my snowman and gingerbread man, but I think Sam's guitar takes the prize for most creative. Tomorrow we plan to use up the rest of our frosting on a gingerbread house for our family home evening activity. I want these activities to become traditions, and it's fun to have a kid that's old enough to start these kinds of things with.

Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe 

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups of white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt 

1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 

3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. 

This recipe yields 5 dozen (60 cookies). That's way more than we needed, so I simply froze the dough we didn't use and now it will be much easier to make cookies in the future. 

-Make sure you refrigerate for at least an hour. 
-You can cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your cookie sheet and roll your dough out on the parchment paper. Then press your cookie cutters down on the dough, peel away the scraps, and easily transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet without ruining them while trying to pick them up. 
-You don't have to simply use cookie cutters. We didn't have many Christmas ones, so we played with the dough and came up with our own designs. I actually thought this was more fun!

Here is a link to the buttercream frosting recipe that I used (that I always use for that matter--it's my go to frosting).

**I mixed the frosting with food coloring and poured it into empty condiment bottles I got at the grocery store. These made the frosting process so much easier, especially for little Klair!**

We've also busied ourselves with wrapping presents for others (Klair was particularly fond of "helping" us wrap, even though she complicated the process more than anything else). At first she struggled with the idea that the toys she helped us pick out were for her cousins, but once we explained the concept of giving she caught on quickly and now she is really excited to give everything away. It probably also helps that she knows she has presents coming too. We've explained the concept of Santa, and if you ask her what she wants for Christmas she'll tell you "a Frozen present." Apparently anything Frozen related will do.

Sam already built her this kitchen, and we hid it in our basement. We showed her a picture and asked her if she would like it, to which she replied "I like it! I love it! I want that kitchen. I get kitchen for Christmas and bake mommy a cake!" I can't wait to see her face light up on Christmas morning when she sees it all set up and ready for her to play with. And I'm pretty excited about my cake too :)

It only took Sam about 4 hours to assemble... when it arrived it came in the pieces you see in the first picture. Don't worry, I was there for moral support. Ha ha! He is such a good dad. (And yes, those are balloons from her birthday party that are still kicking around.)
It's funny how trials in life can make you appreciate things more. I won't sugar coat it--this month has been rough. It seems like we just can't catch a break. Yet, through all of it there have been a lot of silver linings. For one, baby boy is healthy and growing. Sam even felt him kick for the first time the other night! That was such a sweet moment. Additionally, Sam has a new job. He is working with some incredible people, and he has a lot of opportunity for growth and learning. We've also had some amazing loved ones serve us by bringing dinners, offering to watch Klair so I can rest, and simply checking up on us with loving calls of concern. And, last but not least, we have been able to spend so much time together as a little family. We've born forced to cancel all of our plans with others in fear of spreading germs, which has been hard. But, in a way, I've enjoyed this time with just the three of us.

We're obviously not as lively usual, but we've still found ways to have fun and come closer together as a family. Isn't that what the Christmas season is all about? I was feeling sad the other day because I didn't feel like we had had much time to foster the Christmas spirit, like the season had passed us by... but in reality we've enjoyed a great deal of the what Christmas really is--family, service, love, patience, and finding joy in the journey. Christ stands for all of these things, and I'm so grateful for his example to me. We're really quite blessed.

I mean, look at this face. We get to wake to this everyday.
Sam and I have been teaching Klair about Christ this month. Although we've told her about Santa and some of the fun traditions, we have really tried to center her thoughts and ideas of the holiday on the Savior. And, I'm happy to say that I think it's sinking in. If you ask her what Christmas is about, she'll tell you matter-of-factly "It's Jesus's birthday!" and "I love him."

I can find happiness, even in times of despair, because of Christ. He truly is the gift of all gifts, and I'm beyond grateful for the added perspective, beauty, and meaning that he gives to my life.

If you haven't seen this video yet, I highly recommend watching it. It's such a beautiful reminder of the true meaning of the holiday we're about to celebrate.

1 comment:

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