Today, I witnessed the most loving, most beautiful, and most heart breaking wedding ceremony ever. My friend Ann, and her husband Hal, renewed their vows to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. In a packed sanctuary, we watched as Ann walked down the aisle, flanked by her two young daughters, to meet her groom at the alter. Tears streaming down both their faces, they renewed their vows of marriage, similar to what they did ten years ago today.
I was crying, my husband was crying and nearly everyone around us who witnessed this beautiful event was crying. You see, this wasn’t any ordinary vow renewal. Hal and Ann took the same vows that Nick and I took ten years ago, but the significance of the words behind their vows has taken on an entirely different meaning. ‘Through sickness and in health’ has meant Cancer. Ann has been battling breast cancer since before I met her 7 years ago. She has valiantly stared cancer in the face and has been an example to us all of what it means to fight. Ups and downs. Good times and bad. Hal, her husband, has stood by her side and has cared for her thorough this all. He has watched his best friend, the mother of his children, bravely fight all the while maintaining the faith of one of God’s true soldiers.
Ann’s blog recently read…“We are saddened to say that we did not get the results that we were hoping for. The cancer continues to spread in my liver and in my back and some still in my chest area. Numb is a good description of how we feel.” Ann continues, “To be truthful, I feel like giving up sometimes that I cannot possibly keep doing this but when I look into my girls eyes then i know that i can do it. I don’t want them to ever ask why mom gave up.”
I wrote about Ann a few weeks ago in my Cupcakes for Cancer post. At the time I was struggling to think of something I could do for them… something besides praying and making meals. I don’t have a lot of talents, but I do have a blog. How can I turn my blog into something that could help to benefit Ann, Hal and their girls? After the ceremony today, it dawned on me. From now through the end of 2009, I am going to donate all of the advertising dollars I receive through my blog to Ann and Hal. It won’t be much, but right now I think every bit counts.
How can you help? Well, I’m starting a “Clicks 4 a Cause” network and would love for you to join. My goal is to continue to provide quality content and good recipes for you to enjoy and my hope is that you simply will continue to visit. Pass the word on to your friends to visit Dine & Dish. Whatever it takes to get people to at least stop by on a regular basis so that through viewing the ads on my blog (you don’t even have to click ON the ads), I can raise more and more money for Ann and her family. (Signing up for new post email updates is the easiest way to know when there is new content at Dine & Dish. Click on the red envelope in the right hand sidebar & fill out the easy form.)
If you have a “cause” you would like to raise money for in a similar way, please join the Clicks 4 a Cause network. I will provide you with a “Clicks 4 a Cause” badge for your blog that says “Clicks 4 a Cause.. My clicks are for <insert name>” (example mine would say “My clicks are for Ann”. (My blogging friend, Amy, is graciously creating these badges…will let you know when they are ready!)Write a post on your blog with your intentions and a link back to this post and I will include your link on my “Clicks 4 a Cause” network page, which should be up and running shortly. As part of my commitment, I will visit your site on a regular basis and will ask that you do to the same for those included in the network.
Now for a recipe. After the ceremony today, there was a dessert reception. Tables and tables full of scrumptious desserts. I made these delicious Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. If you have any leftover zucchini hanging around your kitchen, put them to good use with this delicious bar recipe…. hey, if it has a veggie in it, it has to be good for you, right?
Zucchini Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups zucchini Grated
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- milk, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350°F and use cooking spray to grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Beat eggs; add sugar and oil.
- Add the zucchini and vanilla; stir to mix well.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done.
- While the bars are baking, whip the butter and cream cheese until light; add vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Beat until fluffy, adding 1-2 Tbs of milk, if needed
- Spread frosting on top of the bars when they are cooled.