What a wonderful Wednesday yesterday was– and it started at 4:30am, when I couldn’t sleep anymore, had to leave for work at 6 anyway, and so I spent time in the Word before heading off to Starbucks.
I worked this shift largely on drive thru, with some of my long-time co-workers, which was really nice. I don’t often work the early shifts, but, even though I’m tired and not a “morning person” inherently, I really like the fast pace of them.
Straight from work my lovely friend Ani took Maddie and I out for lunch as our late “birthday gifts.” Ani is such a gem, and we are so aligned in spirit. Her desire for only more of Jesus in everything is so evident.

After lunch, Maddie and I headed home together, where I started baking for our roommate “Christmas morning” (evening) that night.
Recently, my friend Sheldon talked to me about how banking or cooking seemed like that hobby in my life that I could do forever and it’s like time doesn’t pass. He is right. The whole time I was in the kitchen, baking mini apple pies, mango basil bruschetta, and brownies, I just felt so content and at peace. Listening to music, Maddie sat out in the kitchen with me the whole time talking to me about so many things, and I loved every second.
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She used to, out of obligation, ask if I “needed any help.” She doesn’t anymore, because she knows how much I love cooking on my own, and since she hates it, it’s a win-win.
I made up these colourful bruschetta toasts last night and they were a hit! Here’s the recipe:

Mango Basil Bruschetta Toasts


1 cup chopped red bell pepper

3 Tbsp red onion

1 large gala apple, chopped

1.5 cups cubed mango

1/2 cup chopped saver dates

2 Tbsp dried basil

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 tsp grape seed oil

5 slices bread of choice

1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice


1. Combine pepper, onion, apple, mango, Dates, basil, and balsamic in large bowl until combined.

2. Brush each toast with oil. Bake at 450 degrees about 5 minutes. Top toasts with mango mixture and cheese.

3. Broil about 1 minute, just to melt cheese and crisp the top.

When everyone was home, we divvyed out food and gathered around the kitchen table, reminisct of our “family Thanksgiving.”
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We had planned on watching a Christmas movie, but it never happened. Our conversations turned to our own Christmas traditions, and with more inside jokes than any of us realized we all had together, we were soon laughing hysterically.
And then talking about the perfection of Jesus and our incomprehension of His forever reign, His Kingdom, and what heaven would be like.
Soon we started our gift exchange, which ended up being hilarious. We spent a good half hour coming up with a way to give out the gifts secretly, so that we could guess our person after opening the gift. I thought I had everyone’s figured out– but I was wrong about one match.

Mary got me a beautiful mixing bowl, wooden spoon, and Christmas cookie cutters. I was so excited!
Beth wrote each of us cards, naming us different nicknames she thought suited. Maddie “The Listener,” Cassie “The Prayer Warrior,” Mary “The Builder,” and Autumn “The Storybook Girl.” Needless to say, we were all so touched by the letters.
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Autumn had listed only “cool groceries” on her wish list, and so I got her a dragon fruit, butternut squash, some cool bars, and a gift card to both my favourite coffee shop and a cool local grocery store.
Autumn also made each of us little “Pom Pom strings.” Which became the hysterical laughing event of the night– I suggested that there were 5 Pom poms because there would be one for each of us, and then Maddie exclaimed, “Now Cass you have to metaphorically explain which one is each of us and why!”

This is what I randomly came up with. We all agreed that the latter part wasn’t of course true, I don’t at all feel as if I’m hanging on by a thread. But we did agree that the five of us knit together beautifully to offer different things to this household through the Spirt that make it the most blessed uni house I could dream of having. I’m so grateful.
Thank you, my uni ave girls, for loving me and each other so well. I love y’all so much!

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