Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Sweet Obsession

I have been living in regret ever since my most recent trip to Trader Joe's Let me explain....

As I trotted down aisle after aisle, bribing my son to stay in the cart, all of sudden, out of the corner of my eye I caught a subtle glow. Sitting on a shelf was something so fabulously stupendous I wish I had thought of it myself. So simple, yet so outrageous my heart started pounding, and I had to slyly wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth. As I went to reach for the jar to examine the label; it was as if the peanut butter, lined neatly next to it, were all bowing down in reverence. I had never seen anything like it. The label read in all of it's glory....

Sounds amazing, but what would I do with it except inhale it in one sitting with a spoon? That would be crazy! 

Then I read....

I make sure no one is looking and I quickly wipe the drool off my chin now. Are you kidding me?!?! This is too good to be true. There is a war going on inside of me....I want to buy this, but really should I? I have baby weight I still want to lose....Oh well, how is this going to hurt? I may not even like it...I don't have a major sweet tooth as it is....I can handle it.

I check out and the guy scanned my Cookie Butter and said, "Whoever told you about this you are going to hate for the rest of your life because you will never be able give this stuff up!"

I think, well....I'm sure it's good, but I'm strong enough to say no. I won't have to always buy it.

On the drive home all I can think about is that stupid Cookie Butter. It's already happening! I want to spoon it on top of that French Vanilla ice cream right now! I start gritting my teeth and under my breath I say, "Matt hurry up and get home!" 

Oh no! It's already starting....I can fight this!

As soon as we pull in I run the groceries inside. I searched frantically for the jar through the paper bags; I twist the lid off as soon as I find it, and it was as if I heard a chorus of angels singing in the distance....the aroma overtook me as I breathed in!

I couldn't help myself; I did what I swore I would not do! The craziness took over; I grabbed a spoon and scooped out a huge hunk of the goodness.

I took a bite and felt my taste buds literally leap in joyous surprise! I felt a shock run through my throat as I gasped for air. They had never tasted anything like it before, and they begged me for more. I quickly got out a tub of vanilla ice cream, scooped it out in my favorite bowl, and heaped a pile of the Cookie Butter on top. 

Oh my goodness! Now I will never be able to turn back from this!

The next day I had to have more! I scooped it on every bite of my banana, trying to convince myself at least I was eating it with fruit. The same thing happened the next day. Then I surrendered, got a spoon out, and ate straight from the jar. The next thing I know....

As I stare at the empty jar with disbelief, a tear started to form in my eye. I couldn't believe what had happened! Right when I was about to stash the embarrassing remains; Matt walked in! I was! There was nothing I could do, but drop the jar and put my hands up in the air, confess, and then ask him to get me another jar when he's on that end of town....

Only so he could try it this time, of course....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer in every bite!

It's summer, and that means it's time to put those strawberries to good use. Here's one of my favorite ways, which was introduced to me by my friend Michelle. It also makes a great meal with grilled chicken! It's so easy and so delish!

Summer in a Salad

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
5 cups spring mixed greens and lettuce
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 bottle Briannas Poppyseed dressing (it must be Briannas!)

Put all ingredients in a large salad bowl. Toss to incorporate the dressing evenly throughout, and serve.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

It's time for strawberry picking and that also means it's time for all those yummy strawberry recipes to be dusted off. Only about an hour away from home is Joe Huber's Family Farm where my friends and I dove into their strawberry patches with our kids; mouth's first! 

Oh what a beautiful morning it was....that reminds of a song....

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Oh what a beautiful day!

 I've got a wonderful feeling!

Everything's going my way....can't remember the rest of it....oh verse goes like this.... 

All the sounds of the earth are like music!

All the sounds of the earth are like music!

The breeze is so busy it don't miss a tree.

And an ol' Weepin' Willer is laughin' at me! Don't know which one is the Weepin' Willer laughin' at me....hee hee hee.

Guess I'll just stick to the chorus....

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Oh what a beautiful day!

I've got a beautiful feeling!

Everything's going my way.

Oh what a beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This is what's for breakfast....

I've been trying to lose my post-baby weight and get healthified; so my breakfast this morning is a fruit-filled, protein packed smoothie. We call it "The Barney" around our house. It's so simple, fresh, tasty, and less than half the price of those five dollar smoothies that I can buy at Whole Foods or Starbucks.

Get out your blender. Add one cup of frozen berries. I usually have a large bag mixed with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries waiting in my freezer.

Then add one whole banana, peeled.

Next, add a cup of Acai juice. Acai juice is made out of pure Acai berries that have been juiced, of course. You can usually find it in the organic juice section of your grocery, or next to the orange juice. It's a little pricey, but you can also substitute Acai juice for real orange or apple juice. It must be REAL though (not from concentrate), or you might as well pour in a soda instead.

Add a tablespoon of soy protein powder. If you don't have this on hand you could substitute the powder for a half cup of yogurt. Oikos greek yogurt, plain or vanilla, is my favorite.



 Breakfast is served. Yum! It's the perfect way to start your day.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Power of a Praying Mother

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).

I have been trying all day to think of something clever or sweet to write about Mother's Day, but all I keep thinking about is the power of prayer as a mother, and really as a wife; and to get really general, a daughter in Christ. At church we are currently going through the book of Philippians on Sunday mornings, and yesterday Pastor Jason preached on Chapter 4. Reading through that chapter again today a couple verses resonated with me. As a mother and a wife I tend to worry. As soon as life came with more responsibility; so did worry for me. There are days I worry about our finances. Some days I worry about our health as a family. Other days I worry about my children. Then there are days I worry about relationships. There are times I even worry about the state of our house. I also worry sometimes about our spiritual lives. You name it I have probably worried about it the past several years. But worry only comes when it is allowed to. When my heart and mind is not focused on Christ then worry has freedom to enter. My mind becomes filled with lies and is blinded to the reality of the situation. If I do what Paul says in this letter to the Church; that is when my mind is able to see the truth.
Paul gives us clear direction on what we need to do when worry comes....

1. Don't worry about anything
2. Pray about everything
3. Tell God what I need
4. Thank Him for what He has done

Paul says once I do this that peace will come, and it will guard my heart and my mind from that worry.
Mother's Day for me yesterday was great in the sense I felt spoiled by my husband, but it wasn't all hearts and butterflies (if that makes sense). I was convicted, on a lot of levels, on the state of my prayer life and how I tend to dwell on whatever worry comes into the forefront of my mind, and not directly pray about it. Today God reminded me of that when I started worrying today. I began, instead of getting deeper and deeper in my worry, to tell God what I needed in that moment and thanking Him for what all He had done for me. I know to do this, but tend to forget, and instead let worry just eat my mind away. But when I actually stop, take a deep breath, and pray; peace really does come, my mind is refocused on the Peacemaker and the truth of reality comes into focus.
When Evie is crying at the top of her lungs; I pray and Peace comes and causes her to calm down. When Simms is not obeying; I pray and realize how to best parent him in that particular situation. There is great power in a praying mother. There is great power in prayer. That power is not in the act of praying, but comes by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through prayer that is caused by His power.
Hope you had a powerful Mother's Day; much like I did.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Walk the Line

I write this with a heavy heart. I know that's cliche, but it's true. My baby is growing up. He is on his way to BIG, scary kindergarten. Well, scary to me anyways. I know it is a huge blessing to have a "4 1/2 year-old" (as he so proudly says), who is healthy and happy, but he has know idea what is out there, and if I am honest I just don't want him to experience it on his own. I don't want anyone to hurt him; I don't want him to get wrapped up in caring when people hurt him; I don't want him to hurt anyone. I want him to be, just be, and stay how he is at this moment; innocent and loving, and, well, a little crazy (which I sort of love).
I fear the unknown for him. I fear what I know for him.
Simms truly has never met a stranger. He believes in that little heart of his that everyone is his friend. I know this is ultimately a great thing, going to school; obviously this is all a piece in the puzzle of life. For my social-butterfly-of-a-son, school is right up his alley, but I just want him to stay in my safe, little, lit alley. But truly it's not up to me. This is where trusting the Lord comes into play.

It's now time for Simms to continue to follow that line he just walked into the next classroom of life. I know there will be days and seasons where he will walk that line gracefully, where he will wobble, and where he will completely fall off. Prayerfully, and by His unmerited favor, the Lord will be there guiding Simms and our family on that line. I just hope that grace will cover him and give him great strength and balance.

And when that happens we will celebrate with Simms as he lives and grows in this carefree life that he carries as our child; as His child, which God uses daily in my life to lead me on this line that I am currently walking towards Him.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Heavenly Home

But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:16 NLT).

I think about this often. Whether I am in the low valley, on the mountain top, or when I'm traveling between the two. Wherever I happen to be I tend to think on this.
I yearn for a better place. This place; this quaint house, in a neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky is good, even great, but it gets better. This is not my home. Here on earth is not permanent. Really this is a far country. I am a stranger (Hebrews 11:13). I know, you don't have to tell me, I don't always look like or act like a stranger, but I hope that mostly to the world I am. With Christ in me, I can confidently say I am.
I imagine what Heaven will be like, but in all actuality it won't matter. Christ will be and is seated on the throne, and He will be all that matters. Even with the streets paved in gold, the beautiful mansions, and even the peacefulness that will fill the city; He will be why it is a better and more glorious place. Peace will come from him. There will no more war. He has won! He was wounded from the battle and captured the victory. He has done this for you; for me. He has  prepared a city, a home, for those that through faith believe. By His blood, He will finally be the only one that we will praise. He is the only one worthy of this. I look forward to the day where there is no more fighting within myself, in my thought-life, within the spiritual realms, and I will be able to fully give Him and Him alone my love. He will get it all, because He is All, and He is where I want to be.
I think Meister Eckhart said it best, "God is at home. We are in the far country." 
I can't wait to go home.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Recap

I cannot believe it's already May! Since life has been crazy (probably just like yours), and we haven't been able to talk as regularly as I would've liked, let's catch up. Thanks to my iPhone camera and the help of Instagram here is the past several months told through the beauty of photography.





*Ready to Pop *Last Day with Tessa *Painting for Evie *Evelyn Elyse 2/13/2012 *Welcome Home *First Bath *Grandaddy *Meeting Allie Jane *First Time with Clark *Silly Heads *Happy 1-Month Birthday *Go Knights! *Look Who I Found *Baby "Evie" Taylors *March Madness *Let's Swing *Art Time *2-Month-Old Party *"Where in the World is Aunt Mary Lea and 'Hedder'?" *Broken Wrist? *Just a Sprain *Hold on for Dear Life! *Yay! *