joy, the sweetest

maybe i ate a chili dog for breakfast. and maybe i covered that chili dog in cheese and red onions and hot sauce. and maybe i enjoyed every single bite of it. maybe.

yesterday during my yay-i-finally-can-sit-down-and-play-on-the-internet(!) time i was catching up on all of my favorite blogs (listed over there on the right, in case you didn't notice). i made my way over to joy the baker dot com and started reading her recipe for gluten free strawberry cupcakes and i was just so excited to see a flour girl show the gluten free crowd some love, especially since my sister is part of that gluten free crowd (a life changing thing for her, YAY!)  i noticed half way in that this post was also a contest and up for grabs were not only the cookbook for gluten free cupcake, but also the coconut flour and arrowroot powder necessary to make them. holy gluten free cooking awesomeness, batman!

the criteria for the comment was to tell her what you did this weekend out of your comfort zone, and i did, but mostly i told her about how my wonderful sister had to go out of her comfort zone over the last year to rid her life of her beloved friends, pasta and bread, because they were literally harming her and her body. i also told her how wonderful it is that she was showing the gluten free crowd some love. and that i would love the book and flours so i could give them to my sister and demand that she bake me cupcakes every time i have the chance to come down to see her so we could eat cupcakes and drink wine (yum!)

seeing as i am a person who has never won anything i have learned to curb my anticipation for the luck of the draw, so i was very surprised this morning to see an email titled, "hi from joy". and i was super excited that she was so sweet to give this gift to me, so i could be the most thoughtful regifter ever. if that is something that one could be. i am excited and my sister is excited and she said that she will even let me have two (2!) cupcakes when she makes them. i couldn't have more support for brook and her gluten free life, especially because the bread is delicious and it is always fun to try new things when we go to her house.

and seriously, she made a gluten free rum cake that was to die for this christmas and you would have never said, "well there is no flour in this" because you would have been far too busy just eating and eating and eating. gluten free is just assumed to be not so good, but those assumptions are so far off and that community deserves all the love they can get because that life is expensive and often very inconvenient. did you know things like midol and crystal light have gluten in them? and that when people who have gluten intolerances have  gluten they in turn have horrible reactions? that. just. sucks. most people don't have to worry about the realities of gluten allergies, but i have come to understand just what a solid pain in the ass it is.

so thank you to joy the baker for not only being an awesome blogger, but for making my morning. i love the internet and the blog-o-sphere because of people like her. and because people write funny things on pictures that make me laugh. and because of wikipedia.

aside from the joy love, my little chunky princess started feeding herself today! one puff at a time, deliberate hand to mouth action; it's a huge moment in her motor skill milestones! she is currently sitting next to me playing with her favorite toy she owns, a water bottle, and looking so proud of herself. and i know that i wrote about this over on flickr, but that little chunk, she just warms my heart. her smile and her happiness are infectious, and she always fills me with ooey gooey good feelings. puppies, unicorns, kittens, and rainbows - oh my! i wanted to share this video with you all, which doesn't truly do the chunk's cuteness justice, but it just feels like such a good moment to share with my fellow internet stompers. and so, i leave this post of gratitude for joy the baker, with a shared gratitude for baby smiles. in particular, my baby's smiles.

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