Tuesday, November 25, 2008


You know, if I do say so myself, I'm a pretty good cook. I enjoy trying new things, reading new recipes, and tasting new creations. Cooking is one of my favorite ways to spend extra time, and when the budget allows, money. However, I cannot bake.

Really. I can't.

Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are from times when my mom and I would bake things in the kitchen for holidays. We met at either my aunt's or grandparents, and my mom seemed to always bring the desserts. A couple of the cousins had favorites, I think an aunt requested an ice cream cake a few times, and my mom always obliged. We would make fudge, all kinds of cookies, cornflake peanut butter things, rice crispie treats.... you name it. I loved helping. Mom claims that I've been able to crack an egg since I was two (which is funny, since I haven't been able to do it without getting shell in the bowl since I've been married). While mom and I were baking, I was allowed to lick the bowl of course, but I always wanted to try more of the finished product than I was allowed. A few times, okay every time, I would find some that 'happened' to be broken and begged to be eaten. One year, we were in a minor car accident on the way to Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was fine, but the impact shattered the plate that the fudge was on. I still remind my mom that if she had allowed me a few more pieces, not as many would have been wasted. :)

Now I'm the aunt. Reed and I are joining his sister and brother, their spouses, and our niece in Tennessee in a few days. I thought that it would be fun for me to bring the desserts, like my mom does. (If I had things my way, I'd be cooking the dinner... maybe next year). I decided to start with these mints cookies my mom and I use to always make. After getting underway, I discovered that I could not finish them, because I bought the wrong ingredients. So, I decided to move on to the peanut butter cookies. After setting off the smoke alarm, I realized they were all black as tar on the bottom. I used the remaining dough to make a small batch, and had to go running into the kitchen when I saw smoke pouring out of the oven. I peeked inside, and saw that the wax paper was singed.... I thought that stuff could go into the oven!?!?!?!

Then I moved on to something I CAN make... my roasted garlic and herb bread. That turned out well :) So did the pumpkin cheesecake, even though the crust was a little burnt. My chocolate biscotti- which was suppose to go with the Christmas coffee we bought everyone- is another story. I made a huge batch, and even raw the dough tastes good! I thought I was off to a good start. So, I put it in the over to bake and went to the computer to start this post. After a brief absence from the kitchen the smoke alarm started blaring and I ran into the kitchen. If the smoke was pouring out before, from the cookies, then this time it looked like I had started a fire in there on purpose! I ran in, turned off the oven, threw open the porch door, and started fanning the smoke alarm. While I was fanning, my husband walks in! He knew I was baking though, and I think he has come to expect disaster!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

December 31, 2007

I wrote this post 2 days after my (step) Dad Mike died on New Year's Eve last year. It was originally posted to another blog, but I wanted to share it here, as well.


For those of you who know my family, you know the history of health problems my (step)dad Mike had. For over 10 years, he has fought cancer, gone through a bone marrow transplant, fought graft vs. host disease, was listed for a lung transplant, diagnosed as having a failing heart, kidneys, and liver, diagnosed with melanoma, and finally had 2 heart attacks.

This past weekend, I received a call from my mom saying that Mike wasn't doing well, and had to be rushed to the hospital. Reed and I were there by Sunday, and spent the night with Mike in the hospital, who was on a respirator at this point, so that my mom (who had a fever of 102) could go home to get some rest. After an exhausting night, the next day my mom came back, we (my mom, Reed, and I) decided to take Mike off of the respirator. He struggled with a lot of pain and discomfort over the weekend, and had expressed that he was aware that death was near in the past few months, because he knew that the fight was coming to an end. At this point in his fight, there was no hope for him to recover, due to the melanoma, his lungs in such terrible condition, and a myriad of other problems. He never would have survived off of the respirator, and died a few minutes after we turned it off.

He was surrounded by family and friends. I was there, and I have never been through a weekend so mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally exhausting. But, I know that my family did the right thing.

While this is an extremely difficult time for my family, we are fully aware of where Mike is. Jesus says "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." (John 5:24)

While we miss him, terribly, we miss him out of selfishness. We miss him for our own sakes, as a father and husband. But we know that while he was living, he was in constant pain, particularly struggling this last weekend. We also know that he is in Heaven now, in the company of our Savior, and the pain he experienced here pales in comparison to the life he is living now. My family is far happier that he is pain free, enjoying the glory of God in heaven, than sad because we miss him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope."

Thanks be to God who gives us hope! By believing in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, my dad has entered into eternal glory. I know that one day I will be joining him, because Christ is my savior as well. This world is so temporary, and that fact was really brought to my attention this weekend. If we are not living to bring praises to God, then what is the point?

Death is not the exception, life is. Thank you God, for giving us life, and I pray that we will live it for You.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Post

I have been wanting to start a blog for a while now, but I felt like I needed to wait for life to start (aka started having children) before I had something to write about. But I have realized that I need to be satisfied with my life now, in the present. And I am! God has blessed me so richly, and I want to use all that He has given me for Himself. The purpose of my life now is not to pass the time idly, until some point in the future when I can really start 'living,' but to bring Him glory. I hope that I demonstrate those values in my blog.

I am a 21 year old college student, and have been married to my wonderful husband (Reed) for almost 2 years. We moved to VA to go to school, and while we now are students in a distance learning program over the computer, we still live in VA. I am a full time nanny, the next best thing to having my own. I watch 7 children during the week, all under the age of 5. Reed and I view children as a blessing from the Lord, and hope to start our own family soon. I assume that our trials and successes in that area will be a large part of this blog. :) Reed works at Starbucks while he finishes up his degree, and is an amazing, selfless husband.

Though I don't know yet how often I'll post, I look forward to 'meeting' whoever is reading this. Feel free to comment. :)