Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Heart, My Dream

I am the oldest of four kids, and I am the only girl. Growing up, pretty much everyone thought that my parents were crazy for having four kids. We got lots of stares from strangers everywhere we went. People often commented on how my parents "have your hands full". Yes, it's true, mom and dad definitely had very full hands. We learned at a fairly early age that there were some things in life that we couldn't afford to do, like those dreamy and super expensive vacations to Disney World (although mom and dad did take me when I was about 3.. that was when there were only 2 of us and my brother stayed with my grandparents because he was too young to come). We learned that the reason for this was because there were four kids and not one or two. (I'm not trying to knock anyone who grew up in a family of one, two or three kids, or who got to go on those magical vacations and such. It just wasn't something that we could do and I'm cool with that) The best thing is though, that my mom and dad made it obvious that even through they didn't have the nicest clothes or cars, or the newest gadget on the planet, they didn't mind, they didn't care. My mom and dad made is so crystal clear that they loved us more than anything the world could offer. Sure, they wanted nice things for us and themselves but it wasn't consuming, it wasn't their lifestyle to be absorbed into materialism.

I saw this article, Motherhood Is Calling, and it really struck me because I know what it is like to be the kid who hears all the comments people make about someone having their hands full with a gaggle of kids. I didn't think much about it then, but looking back I realize how difficult that must have been at times. My parents didn't care what the world thought and would have given their lives for us if had been needed. They still would. My parents stood between us as kids and the world- they protected us and modled Jesus for us and the world to see. I can't thank them enough. 

As a result of this, I discovered a long time ago that my heart's desire is to be a mom. (and before you ask, no, I'm not pregnant.) I know that this will happen in the Lord's timing and that until then, He's got valuable lessons to teach me. I look forward to the day I am a mom. I want to be like my mom, my grandmothers, my mother-in-law and my husband's grandmothers. I want to be the kind of mom who models Jesus to her children and the world. This is my heart, this is my dream. 

{From left to right: Brother 1, Mom, Me, Dad, Brother 2, Brother 3}

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Kitchen Challenge

If ya haven't figured it out by now, I kinda like to cook... a lot. My hubby's birthday is Monday and I'm making the cake. Last year, I made him cheesecake because that's one of his favorites and I had a recipe I wanted to try. (That recipe has since become a favorite- shout out to 2nd Ave Deli in New York- you're cookbook is amazing!)

This year, however is different. This year he want cheesecake. This year he wants red velvet cake.



Yes, THAT is what he wants for his birthday! We ate at Cheesecake Factory in January which is when he tried that way too awesome for words cake and decided he wanted me to try and recreate it for his birthday. It's going to be a challenge. It's going to require two cheesecake pans. It's going to be more sugar than we've eaten in a loooong time. And it's so TOTALLY going to be worth it! Photos and an update to come after the momentous event of my creating this monstrosity of a completely fabulous cake!

PS: I got a card reader for my camera! That means all those photos on my camera can finally be posted here! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Diet Update

Well, here we are! We are nearly two weeks into our new way of thinking about and eating food. We have been eating a TON of salad, but don't really mind. I have tried new recipes, some good and some that need not be repeated...

We have not been perfect. For example, yesterday was a bad day for me. I have 2 fun size snickers, 2 individual starburst candies, and a werther's original. We have allowed ourself 3 werther's a day because that keeps us under our calories for sweets (technically, sugar isn't allowed but I'm allergic to the artificial sweeteners so we decided that if we stay within the calories allowed it would be ok), but yesterday was excessive. Tonight, we splurged and had 2 cookies each tonight to celebrate my brother-in-law being home from school for spring break. Oh. My. Goodness. Those cookies were magical!

After nearly two weeks with no flour, etc or more than 75 calories of sugar, those cookies were also really, REALLY rich. And heavy. And... well, now I feel kinda yuck. Not bad or sick or anything, just not as great as I did before. Amazingly enough, I felt the same way last night when I ate the candy (sarcasm here)! The lessons here: ya eat junk, ya feel like junk.

Without these past (nearly) two weeks, I would not have realized how my body reacts to sugar and junk food. Don't worry, I'm not going to be giving up sugar or junk food, but I am going to be more conscious about when and how much of it I eat.

Recap: First two weeks are going good- can't wait till the next phase!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New look

Ok, so I'm sure that you have noticed the changes around here at the good 'ole blog. I felt like the name needed to reflect more of what this blog has become. I like sugar and peppers, not always the together, but they represent the variety of flavors that life offers- the sweet, and the times when life gets stressful and it feels like someone is perpetually turning up the heat in every room.

Be warned, the changes aren't over! I like variety, and options. I don't know what changes are left for this little 'old corner of cyberspace but I guess we will both have to find out!

Lots of Changes

First of all, I've got an update on Trey, the kid mentioned in my last post. Since then, Trey has been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. It's crazy that a 15 year old kid is battling the disease is only every battled by adults. Trey is the youngest person on record with pancreatic cancer. The doctors has started chemo this week, it is a new form of treatment that was approved by the FDA 6 months ago. I am praising the Lord for this because it is an advancement in such a devastating disease. It may seem difficult for some to see good in such a devastating situation, God is at work in our community! There are so many people that don't know Trey or his family but who are sending cards, messages, etc. Today, I was so touch to learn that two radio stations are showing their support for Trey by having "13 hours of pray for Trey" and "!3 days of pray for Trey". (Trey is football jersey number is 13). Keep praying for Trey as he and his family as they walk through chemo treatments, good days and nights, and some more difficult days and nights. 

Second, we, the Husband and I, have made a lifestyle change. We have decided to begin the South Beach Diet. My blood pressure is too high and my doctor isn't too happy about it, as I'm sure you can guess. I am trying to avoid medication (although genetics aren't on my side) and this is one part of trying to lead a generally healthier lifestyle. So far, I don't feel like eating through the plastic wrapper around the bread that still in the pantry. One day at a time, one meal at a time. This isn't easy, that's for sure, but it's for the best. We, our little family of 2 (4 if you count the kitties) needs this change, easy or not.