I can’t believe it’s already October! September didn’t really happen, did it? This weekend was wonderful. Of course there were a few hiccups because that’s life, but those resolved and when I reflect on the last few days I just smile.

E and I left the city to head back to our hometown so that we could celebrate our sweet nephew’s (Jacoby) 2nd birthday. He was the cutest opening his presents and thanking everyone with a big hug and sloppy, wet kiss. Also, there were doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts. If there’s one way to win my heart, that about sums it up!

Although it was a quick trip, we spent time with my mom, my dad, Carp parents (AKA: my in-laws, but I just can’t get on board with that label. It has too much of a negative connotation.), bros, sisters, and a few friends! We even managed to squeeze in a day date just the two of us Sunday afternoon. That was by far the highlight of my weekend. (Especially since we’re apart all week due to my work trip.)

E and I have been conversing about really tough and complex things over the past few days and (not to toot my own horn or brag but…) I’m really proud of us. We’ve come a long way in our relationship and I love the direction it’s growing.

For one, I am learning to be completely and totally vulnerable. Also, I’m learning to approach things better. Don’t be fooled, I still have a long ways to go in this area. Finally, E is responding to me in a way that communicates patience, love, and understanding better than ever. We’re both still maturing as individuals and I am seeing the fruit of that in our marriage. I can’t fully disclose what our conversations have been about and I’m asking you to please respect our privacy by not asking either of us about it, but if you’d like to be praying for us, we’ll accept those with gratitude. 🙂 We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds our future. That has been my mantra. That has been the truth I’m clinging to. Jesus knows our desires, He knows our hearts, His ways our higher than ours. Repeating that to myself over and over again when my heart feels heavy. In your timing, Lord.

Y’all know me as an over-sharer (that’s who I am and what this space allows me to do!), but since I couldn’t really do that in today’s post, I want to be sure I do when it comes to these delicious homemade cookies! Soft, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, these are perfect for the holidays and pair best with a cup off hot coffee. They are totally going to be the treat I contribute to all parties from here on out. Fam reading this: I’ll bring them to Thanksgiving and Christmas!



2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and orange zest.
  3. Toss in and mix the cranberries last.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, then roll into logs about 7 inches long.
  5. Wrap each log in wax paper or plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for approx. 4 hours.
  6. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Remove wax paper, and cut the cookie dough into 1/2-inch slices.
  8. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  9. Bake in the oven until firm but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Please leave a comment telling me about your weekend! I love making this a two-way conversation. And don’t forget to share if you decide to make these scrumptious cookies. I even had them for breakfast this morning, oops! 😉

XO, Manda

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