Saturday, September 14, 2013

New recipe I am loving a latte!

I heart lattes. So much.

They are my go-to insta-feel better drink.

But sadly, I cannot afford a latte every time I want an insta-feel better drink.

I have searched high and low to find a DIY at-home recipe. They have all called for some fancy machine, or in some cases machines.

I had all but given up hope... until TODAY!

It began when I stumbled across a blog that said to use double the amount of fine ground coffee and a stick blender. Having no idea what the heck a stick blender was, I googled it. It's a blender you put into the pot.

So my brilliant self thought, well why can't I just pour my pot of milk into my regular blender.

Off to the kitchen I went!

I doubled my coffee grounds, and double brewed the coffee for the "espresso" part. 

I heated up my pot of milk and poured it into the blender to get it forthy. 

After a few zooms around, I mixed it with my strong coffee and BAM! I had my long awaited for DIY no fancy machine needed latte. 

It was heaven, so much heaven and goodness. My soul literally felt happy after just the first sip. 

Happy Saturday!!!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Failures and Mountains

I just got done with a pretty good workout, so I decided to indulge in some pinterest. What a terrible idea. 

An hour later I am looking at my life incredibly disappointed. How did I get here? 

In the fall of 2009 I began working out. It was not because I had some desire to change my appearance, but instead it was to battle my bulimia, a hellish nightmare I was yet again facing. Before I knew it I was running almost daily, I was very careful with what I was eating, and the need to purge was no longer crippling my life. I also happened to lose a bunch of weight in the process. 

During that time, my mind was so focused on being able to make it thirty minutes after a meal that the size of my pants had little hold on me. But when I did finally look in the mirror, I couldn't wrap my mind around what I saw. 

My workouts continued into the fall of 2010, and by then I was somewhere between a size 12 and 14. I also weighed less that I did in the sixth or seventh grade. Looking back, I looked incredible. 

But low self-esteem doesn't change over night. The number of days that I hated myself and my appearance the wasn't that much different than now. One night in fall 2011 really stands out to me. I was at my place getting ready for a party at Ray's apartment next door. I must have tried on 15 different outfits. I finally reached the point of crying in front of my mirror because of how awful I looked. Ray came in about that time, and after asking me what was wrong, put his arms around me and said, "One day I hope you look in the mirror and see what I see. And that's beautiful."

My thought then was the same thought I have now. "Yeah right." No way, no how will I ever feel beautiful. 

I know the harms of self-pity, but I also know it is not a feeling  you can just easily decide not to have. Regardless of how many times my husband tells me I'm beautiful or sexy, or how he hugs my curves, or the way he stares at me as if I'm the most attractive woman he's ever seen, I'm not sure I will ever feel beautiful. 

This decision to relose all of the weight I once lost just intensifies those feelings of self-loathing. I stare at myself angry and disappointed, screaming in my head. Why! Why did I let myself get here again? The simple answers would be not truly knowing how to maintain a weight combined with the lack of attention I gave my weight because I was so focused on my new boo. That mixed with lots of date nights and dinners. 

Regardless of the cause, or the length of time it took me to get back here, I have still never been more disappointed in myself. I failed. I failed myself. I failed my health. I failed my new clothes. I failed any confidence in myself I was gaining.

Now I'm left at a point where I can no longer hold onto that pity, but have to use it as motivation to start again. 

I'm not sure I've ever faced a bigger mountain. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lessons on Our One Year

I am a little late posting this, but I wanted to write a blog about how perfect our anniversary was.

Before you tune out, I promise you it isn't a sappy story about how wonderfully romantic our life is. But instead is a reminder of how perfect God's timing is.

Ray and I were looking forward to our big one year like no other. We had plans to go away for the weekend, have an incredibly nice dinner, and buy each other a super nice, but very sentimental gift.

But like most laid plans, this one went awry.

I have never been more thankful that they did.

After we moved out here, we knew that Ray's last Walmart check from Illinois would hold us over until we had my first check on the 20th. What we did not plan on was the check going missing for two weeks and my new teacher advancement not coming until the 30th instead of the 20th. Talk about frantic. Had it not been for my mom buying us food, we would have been eating moldy bagels. We had no money. None.

But for the first time in my life, I have never felt so blessed or so taken care of. I knew that somehow, someway God was going to get us those checks, and I knew it was going to be when we needed them, not when we wanted them.

That they did. FINALLY! The first arrived two days after our anniversary.

Which brings me back to the point of what I wanted to write.

Instead of some elaborate picturesque weekend away. I got to spend quality time with the man of my dreams, giving each other gifts that cost less than $20 combined, and being reminded of a priceless lesson.

I gave Ray a little plaque for his nightstand that said "I love you more." He, like most holidays, blew mine out of the water.

After handing me a "Happy Anniversary" card that he forgot to sign (he said I knew who it was from), he handed me a little book he had made himself. The cover was hand drawn, and the pages each had a huge letter, spelling out "LOVE" over four pages. Next to those letters was the most beautiful, heartfelt, message I have ever been given. I never knew how much of a man of words my husband was until this book. He described the way he fell in love with me, the blessing that our first year of marriage was, and the excitement he has for our future. I have never felt more loved, valued, or treasured in my life.

What was the most perfect about the entire card though was a line that said, "Here we are on our first anniversary, on the verge of making more money than we've ever made, and we are flat broke having no idea how are bills will be paid." He closed his card by saying what will bring us through is Love and God. He's exactly right.

God has taught us so many lessons in our first year. But I'm not sure I have ever been so thankful to learn this one. No matter the situation in which we find ourselves, love and God will always bring us through.

When Ray proposed he said, "Whether we're traveling the world or eating burnt rice in the kitchen with Aiden and Avery (an event that happened the night of our proposal), as long as I'm with you, I'm happy." I could not have agreed more then, just as I could not agree more now.

Happy anniversary, Baby. I love you!

One year later :) 

P.S. Thank you, Mom, for paying for an incredible anniversary dinner!!! We love you!