Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lifechanging Life and Song

I'm no Theologian, (No...seriously. I'm a mom and I sell underground fences, but that does not necessarily mean I am a Theologian.) but I have had a faith in Jesus since I was young.  Since High School I have had questions about my faith and the realness of Jesus.  Not necessarily doubts, but questions.  Don't judge.

Example, if God doesn't give you more than you can handle, why do people commit suicide?  I know, I know...With Jesus' strength we can handle it all.  When we are weak, He is strong.  I believe that.  I also know all of the arguments against my question.  On the other hand, that person in that situation couldn't handle it at that time, cutting their life short.  The didn't/couldn't/wouldn't turn to Jesus when they need Him most.  In the end, they could not handle it. 

Believe me, I believe all scripture is God breathed and fully true, but because I'm human, I have questions that my little noggin can't fully understand.

Ok, change of scenery, but we'll be going full circle before long.
This summer I joined a fitness club.  I joined in an effort to socialize my daughter and transform myself from the skinny fat girl to a toned babe (ha)!  Not long after joining the club, I learned I don't like to run in place and I don't enjoy lifting weights. 

Then, with a few of my neighbor girls, I took a Zumba class.  Zumba is a choreographed dance workout.  I was hooked from the first class on.  Seriously hooked!  The music was relevant and fun, the energy was high and the instructor was inspiring!  Each class I'd leave feeling stronger, more confident, sexier and revived!  As a non-workouter, (please don't look that word up) I always wish that 1 hour class was 2 hours.

I think it's a mix from the fact that (although I'd sweat buckets and burn 500+ calories per workout) it is FUN and the instructor is real, authentic, and passionate about life, family and about Zumba.  Her following is huge, which isn't surprising if you've been to any of her classes.

I went to Zumba last Wednesday night, but slept in through the scheduled Thursday class.  Feeling guilty I missed a class that I could have gone to, I looked at my instructor's Facebook page to read all of the rave reviews from other Zumba-ers. 

My heart skipped a beat when reading tons and tons of people telling the instructor she was in their prayers and they were praying for her family, specifically her daughter.  I don't know them personally, but was immediately concerned because A.) I'm my daughter is my world and B.) This instructor has made a huge impact on me.

I try not to be a tweenager; checking Facebook minutely.  However, I checked my Facebook page all throughout the evening.  Before long, I learned through fellow Zumba-ers, that our loved instructor's precious 4 year old daughter suffered from aneurysm that Thursday morning.

With everything I had, I prayed for the adorable, beautiful, beaming 4 year old and for her whole family and all of her friends.  Jesus heard from me more than normal that night.  I literally couldn't sleep thinking of what this family was going through.

Mid morning Friday, I learned the little girl passed away.

Why Jesus?  This doesn't make any sense.

I didn't personally know this girl, but even writing this now I have tears in my eyes. 

Can you imagine being the little girl, or her parents, or her siblings, or her grandparents, or her friends...  Think of all the people missing this seemingly healthy 4 year old that was taken before their eyes.  It's unimaginable.

It didn't/doesn't make sense.  This pure little girl, from a loving, Christian family, passes away out of nowhere.  Why didn't God intervene and save her?  It baffles me.  Jesus is in control and He's bigger than everything, but a young girl dies.  I want answers, for my faith's sake, so imagine how her family feels.  Again, it's unbearable.

I struggled with whether or not I should go to the funeral.  Nobody likes funerals.  Nobody telling me I should go.  Nobody would expect me to be there. 

At the same time, nobody could tell me I couldn't go.  This little, innocent girl could be anyone...It could have happened to my family.

I went.  The funeral, from beginning to end, has made an enormous impact on my life.

  Please listen to the song linked up below.  A beautiful slideshow was prepared to this song.

The words from the song answer more questions than I realized I had.

Honestly, why do I think we should all be saved from nightmares?  The Bible never says we will be saved from all heartache.  Jesus' promise is that when everything falls (because of sin) we'll be held.  Jesus will hold us, walk beside us and rebuild us when life doesn't go the way we planned.

This beautiful young girl's life has shown me that our life on earth is not our whole life.  Jesus has way more in store for us after our stint here.

My prayers, thoughts and best wishes to a beautiful family who has touched my life!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wish he thought of putting the flower in his teeth himself!
After dinner, I asked Ben if he could get us a bottle of wine.  He came back about twenty minutes later.  Walking in the door with what looked like a case of Captain Morgan, I was worried he had a bad day.  Who needs a whole case of spiced rum on a Tuesday?  Oh no, what Ben had inside was a case of my favorite Sauvion Blancs and some I hadn't tried.
He is so good!

Of the dozen Sauvion Blancs, eleven of them were from my favorite wine region in New Zealand, Marlborough.  The other was a Yellow Tail, which I love, but only 14% of the grapes are from New Zealand.  Ben said that's for "cheap nights".  I'll take the Yellow Tail, but couldn't take a picture of it because of my reverence for Marlborough. 

Look at the assortment he picked out! 

Can't wait to try them all!  We probably won't get through all of them eleven bottles tonight, seeing it's just the 2 of us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peer Pressure Below

I wasn't always a (wine) snob.  I have loved wine for years, but I used to be satisfied with boxed wine;** as long as it was Angel Juice, Bota Box or Black Box.  Lately, however, I've only liked it straight from the bottle.  Well, in a wine glass from a bottle, don't worry. :)

We've tried all different types of wines.  Ben, along with our houseguest, Katie, and I realized Sauvignon Blanc is all of our favorite.  It's my favorite by long shot;** even considering I had to google the spelling. 

Trying different bottles (ooh la la) of Sauvignon Blanc means we've been trying many different brands and regions of wine.  We've narrowed our favorite wines down to the following:
  • Cupcake Vineyards (~$10/bottle*)
  • Starborough  (~$14/bottle*)
  • Kim Crawford (~$17/bottle*)      
  • Nobilo (~$13/bottle*)
Any of those four wines will make your mouth water and your taste buds tingle (I am a dork). 

Here's the sad part thought - A bottle of this deliciousness goes fast.  See below:

Here's the fun part though - They are all from the same region, Marlborough, in New Zealand.  What a coincidence!

So I thought...Hmm...We should save up for a trip to the Marlborough region.  Well ha ha ha - Joke is on me.  Check out the tickets for plane tickets alone.  Gross!

Anyway, PLEASE, if anyone is reading this, PLEASE buy yourself a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  You will not regret it. 

Everyone's doin' it (in our house)! 

*Prices are all total guesses!
**I am trying to learn the correct usage of the semicolon.  Please correct any mistakes I made.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From Boring to Soaring

Our house, as I've mentioned earlier, was in serious need of a place-lift!  I love our house structure, but it wasn't showing any of our personality.

We've made changes - finally! 

Take the niche in our entry way, pictured on your right.  We thought the plant would spruce it up. 


But look at it now!!!  The alcove actually pops as you walk in!

The mural hung on the wall and the mirrored table in the center shows that the house is owned by a quirky little family versus a spud!

We've made other changes too and have more to come!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Greek Spinach Dip

Dear Ben in Lakeville,

I saw your comment to this post and wanted to provide you (and the millions of other readers) the recipe.

Seriously, this dip is amazing and super simple.  It's a tweaked version from the Knorr Vegetable package.

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Mayo
1-1/2 cups feta cheese
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix (THIS IS KEY)
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped


Preheat oven to 350°

Combine all ingredients except 1/2 cup of feta cheese. Spoon into a 2-quart casserole, then top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes or until dip is hot. Dip it like it's hot.

Serve it with anything - It's that good!

Frog Potty

Ben decided not to sit on the frog potty for a picture.  I decided picking between just Piper and me for the game here would be too easy.  :)  So... I'll spoil the game and let you know that Piper has been (on very rare occasion) tinkling in the frog potty! 

She used the frog potty just now.  I offered to bring the froggy basin to the big toilet to flush it.  She declared, "I want to carry my pee, mom"!  I don't blame her!