Friday, August 2, 2013

Nashville:Take 2! Church family, Lemon Cheesecake Bars and Camerone's Cocktail!

When our plane arrived in Nashville we immediately went downtown for lunch with a few loved ones from our Nashville church, including our wonderful pastor who was preparing to leave for a mission trip but made time to meet us! Rock Bottom (formerly known as Big River Brewery) was the place of choice and let me tell you how great our waiter was. Not only did he store our backpack full of frozen breastmilk in the restaurant freezer (not lying), he also thawed out a bag for us in warm water. Gotta love some southern hospitality! Lunch was spent catching up with a few amazing people in our life so the bar was set high for the rest of our time in Nashville.

On Friday, we packed our bags and went to stay with another part of our Nashville family, The Waggoners. This family is so special to us and just took Jason and I and loved on us! When I say this is one amazing Christian couple and daughter, that would be an understatement.

They continue to love on us through the miles. And let me tell you, Mrs. Kris is the hostess with the mostess! She cooks like a pro and hospitality is her gift. Everything is made by her or catered She made a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail for us also known as Coctel de Camerones. It was wonderful!A fabulous summer dish.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
2 pounds medium shrimp, pre cooked


1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup peeled, diced cucumber
1 jalapeno, minced
1 small tomato choppe
1 1/2 cup tomato juice
1 cup ketchup (no sugar added)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of a lime, about 2 Tbsp
Hot sauce, garlic salt and cumin to taste  to taste
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno diced 
Mix all together (except for shrimp) and spoon into individual dishes. Add shrimp over the side and add a tortilla chip to dip for garnish and dipping.

On Sunday, we all went to our church, St. Paul Community Church together.

It was wonderful to be at our church home and sit amongst the family we had there. And to see the kids that were a part of the Children's ministry while we were there was priceless. This church will have always hold a huge place in our hearts. The families there are beautiful and the outreach done Mrs. Ann is seen everywhere you go. Ms. Ann is like no one you have ever met. She is truly an angel on this earth and chases after God's heart in all she does. She can run CIRCLES around me and from the moment I met her, she felt like another mom to me. And did I mention that we have the same birthday? Seriously. A dynamic duo.

After church, we all went back to the Waggoners where they threw a little soiree and we ate more Mexican! Families and friends from St. Paul joined us and it meant so much! I added Lemon Cheesecake Bars to the dessert selection.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Heat oven to 350. (325 for dark or nonstick pan). In large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and 1 of the eggs with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly. Press in bottom of 13x9 inch pan.
2. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar. Stir in lemon peel and lemon juice until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup for toppingl rerigerate. Into remaining cream cheese mixture, beat remaining 2 eggs on medium speed until blended. Spread over cake mixture. 
3. Bake 25 to 28 minutes or util set. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Spread with reserved cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until firm. 

 My dear friend, Kaitlin Green even joined us and it was sooo good to talk to this sweet face and catch up. She is now director of children's ministry at St. Paul and it is amazing to see all that she is doing. Her heart is beautiful!

The Wallaces are a precious and were the very first family that I met after accepting the children's ministry position at St. Paul.

 I had the joy of not only teaching the Wallace kids on Sunday but I also had her daughter Campbell, in my Mothers Day Out class. Not only that, we receive little packages in the mail from Amy that have Campbell's ADORABLE monogrammed outfits in them. Both of our girls are CCW! Amy truly has a heart of gold.

The Sandersons are near and dear to my heart because I had the pleasure of babysitting their girls many times as well as teaching them on Sunday. I became very close with this family and still cry when I have to tell them good bye. Sarah has always been a beautiful presence in my life and she can light up any room.

After I had Collins, it was Sarah who would ask the tough questions about being a new mom and continually encourage me. And not to mention, she is my Stella and Dot stylist and it is always a happy day when a Stell and Dot  package arrives on my door from Sarah. Her daughters are both beautiful inside and out and I can only pray that Collins has a heart like the both of them. To see her daughters flock over CC and take care of her at our party made my heart so happy but made me feel a tad older too;) They Sanderson girls can now take care of my baby girl!

It was a perfect afternoon with the Waggoner family opening their home and hearts in true form. And Kaitlyn and I had way too much fun wearing her Steeplechase hats by the pool.
The best part of our time in Nashville is to know that every single person who holds a place in our heart was brought to us somehow through one common link...God providing a Christian community for us.

And while our hearts felt so sad to leave, I thanked God on our flight home for the home we have in Nashville and for a new place that is now feeling like home to us...Houston.

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