Happy Birthday, Melissa!

My Darling Baby Girl, Happy Birthday!

We miss you so much today! I have you know that Colin Fitzpatrick is the only man on earth I’d love and trust enough to move you off indefinitely without a small fight, especially on your birthday in a family where birthdays are king. Not only do all the Moores and Joneses miss you today, all your coworkers feel like confetti with no place to blow. You are the only one on our staff so far away that we don’t get to observe an official LPM annual celebration lunch. But, we’re all grown-ups here so call us the epitome of flexibility and understanding, as long as you rest assured we’re feeling the absence of your infectious and delightfully fun self.

I’ve already sent your wrap-able gifts and they should arrive right on time today so this is a minuscule ring-box of words to set beside them. Just a few things from the last 24 hours of life as we know it that I think might make you smile on your birthday:

A. Annabeth was dressed so cute at church yesterday that I honestly could not bear it. And when I asked your sister where she’d gotten that plaid skirt with suspenders and a white blouse in such a small size, she said “Her Aunt Melissa sent this to her!” Score, Child. Score. You’ve still got it. And I’m relieved since you are missing your two chief shopping cohorts.

B. Jackson was riding in the car with me from church to lunch yesterday like he usually does, but on this occasion he said something for the very first time: “Bibby, turn that up!” It was a praise CD. A monumental moment in a life, if you ask me. When I turned up the volume, I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw those little wheels rolling in his head and his big blue eyes cut over to the side, brows drawn down, trying to figure out whether or not he knew that Tomlin song. He’s starting to sing along with all sorts of different songs and guess who he requests most of all? David Crowder. Isn’t that a kick? You ought to hear him say his name. So precious you can’t stand it. And, by the way, he’s outgrown his shoes AGAIN. His feet are huge. (Jackson’s, not David Crowder’s. I don’t know if David has big feet or not. I’ll glance at them in January at Passion.)

C. We sang “Before the Throne of God Above” yesterday in the worship service. Knowing how much you love it, I could hardly get the words to come out of my mouth. I kept thinking of the lyrics in reference to the genuine trial by fire you’ve had this year with health issues attacking that little frame. Persevere, my sweet, sweet Child. I pray with all my heart that this is only a season and that God is going to bring you out of it twice the warrior that entered it. Please hasten to the finish, Lord Jesus. Restore Your young servant completely and bear such a harvest that she will one day look back on it as a gift in disguise from Your faithful hand.

Just in case you’ve forgotten any of the words:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

D. Abigail walked the aisle yesterday with her Mommy and Daddy and gave her heart to Jesus. She came up to me just before the service began and said, “Miss Beth, guess what I’m doing today??” And the rest is history. We had the sweetest baptisms yesterday and, all the while, I watched her and her Daddy elbowing each other with anticipation. You would have loved it. I was about to laugh and sob at the same time. I had a feeling she was on the verge of making this decision. You know what a people watcher I am. Last week we took the Lord’s Supper and Abigail was sitting right in front of me. She stared at that tray so hard when it passed her by that she nearly bored a hole in it. I knew something was up. She will stand in that same baptistery where you and your sister were immersed and right at about the same age. Is there anything like growing up in one church? Would we trade those folks in our section for anything on earth??

E. Mr. Parker finally squeaked up the coyote that’s eaten both of their beloved cats and one of their neighbor’s cats in the last few days. The rabbits are so scared of it that they’re nestling right up next to the houses. Geli stares at one out our front windows constantly. Don’t tell me you don’t miss Texas. Where on earth but here would that happen in a suburban neighborhood?

F. Dad and I made homemade buttermilk pancakes and bacon for supper last night. Yep, from a real live recipe with fresh buttermilk and eggs and baking powder and…well, I don’t remember now…just stuff. No mix, is what I’m getting at. It was so good! Dad even told me not to tell him again that I wasn’t a good cook. I’d dang well proved otherwise. How about that? OK, well, I might as well strut my stuff and share the recipe. I got it off the internet and it wasn’t attributed to anybody. I guess there’s no copyright on pancakes.

Beth’s Best Buttermilk Pancakes
(Oh, that made me so happy. It’s a lie though. They’re not mine.)

Makes nine 6-inch pancakes
The key to fluffy pancakes is not to over-mix the batter; it should not be beaten smooth. If serving these pancakes with bacon, reserve half a teaspoon of bacon drippings to grease the griddle instead of butter.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/2 teaspoon for griddle

1. Heat griddle to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine. Batter should have small to medium lumps.

2. Heat oven to 175°. Test griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If water bounces and spatters off griddle, it is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter or reserved bacon fat onto griddle. Wipe off excess.

3. Using a 4-ounce ladle, about 1/2 cup, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one other. When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

4. Repeat with remaining batter, keeping finished pancakes on a heatproof plate in oven. Serve warm.

G. Dad’s getting new glasses. These are not from Walgreen’s. I helped him pick them out, praise You, Lord. These should actually sit straight on his nose and we will no longer have to tilt our heads to look him in the eye. He is too handsome for $11 spectacles.

H. (This is Amanda now. I get one letter.)

For my sister on her 27th birthday…

Today we will eat cupcakes in your honor.

And be sad you’re not here to share.

We hope you’ll spend the day doing everything that’s fun and nothing that isn’t. Maybe some home redecorating? Fort building?

Don’t stay home. Grab your car keys and go somewhere fun!

I’m thankful for the day you made me a big sister. I was just about Jackson’s age.

Hopefully I was better at holding you than this.

We’re all wild about you, Melissa! We love you more than we could ever say! Have the happiest birthday ever.
Your family


201 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Melissa!”

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  1. 201
    Kelli says:

    Just tried to make these YUMMY pancakes and I made it a disaster! Is it really 3 cups of buttermilk to 2 cups of flour? Love you girls! 🙂

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