Monday, February 28, 2011

Everyone Loves Baby John

John being lavished with attention. He's even kind of like "Ladies, can I have some space here? There's only so much of me to go around!"

When I became pregnant with John, I was unsure of the reception that I would get from some of my family and friends. I was worried that my mother wasn't ready to be a grandmother since she is only 29 ( she has been 29 for a few years). Not many 29 year olds are prepared for the rigorous doting that grandmotherhood requires. My sister has a very demanding academic and social schedule. And some of my closest friends are ambitious career people and world travelers.

I was uncertain how they would feel about a baby.

I'm not trying to imply that my family and friends are ogres who eat small children for breakfast. This was more my lack of faith than anything about them.

I couldn't have been more wrong about their response. I have been wonderfully surprised by the love that has been lavished on my son. (True, who could resist John?!)

My sister is so good with him. She holds him and plays with him and is a good sport when he gets a death-grip on her hair. When I am in San Antonio, all of her friends come over asking to see him and commenting on all of the pictures that she has posted of him on facebook. They even want to peek in on him when he's sleeping. And though she usually is too busy to answer when I call, she does have time to text me asking about baby John.

My friends love him as well and have been nothing but supportive and excited. They buy him stylish hipster-type gifts and bid me give him many kisses on their behalf in their absence. You should see how they break out the cameras when they're around him. You would think Brangelina was in the room.

And my mother, John has won her over. She doesn't even hold it against him that he gave her a title that is boasted mostly by old people (of which my mother is definitely not- let me remind you, she is only 29). She definitely likes John better than she likes me. And this is okay with me, provided that I can still stay at her house when baby John comes to visit. This was evident one night a few months ago when I was visiting San Antonio. She and I were both leaving town the next morning. As she went to bed she said "John is so sweet! Tell Baby John (who was already asleep) goodnight and goodbye for me!" Then she retreated to her room.

"Mom! Mooooom!", I called after her, "You didn't say goodbye and goodnight to me! You just told me to tell baby John goodbye and goodnight! Surely you still must have some regard for me I am Baby John's mother, after all!"

She soon rectified this with goodnights, goodbyes, hugs and kisses all around. But it's obvious to me that I must stay in Baby John's good graces. If not, I fear I'll get written out of the will.

I've been surprised by the way that this outpouring of love towards John has affected me. I feel so loved because he is so loved. I don't quite understand it and I feel that I'm only at the tip of the iceberg of something that I can't even explain. All I can say is that the love shown towards him has been so affirming to me in a way that I didn't even know that I needed affirmation. And I'm grateful for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For My Love

Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson:

I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The course of true luuuuuuuv never did run smooth

Valentine's might be over (I hope you all ate chocolate, sniffed roses and snuggled with your luuuuv all day long!) but I have a few more luuuuuuuuuv posts to go. And this one is my own love story. The title is another Shakespeare quote. I've quoted him a lot this month; that fellow wrote a lot about love! And that sentiment is certainly true of my love story with Peter. It was a bumpy ride. For me anyways. I think Peter might have sailed merrily along through all of this....

Peter and I met as sophmores in high school at the tender age of 15. But it wasn't until we had attained the ripe old age and accompanying maturity of 17 that we began dating (I guess Peter was 18, which means he was even more mature). It was our senior year.

It was a predictably immature high school romance. We dated several months and then, tragically and surprisingly, our feelings changed. So we broke up. We went our separate ways but to the same university- Texas A&M. This wasn't on purpose. This happened because I was stupid enough to only apply to one public school in Texas and A&M was it. When it was determined that the finances were not available to go to a private school, I had no choice. I'm really the most pitiful Aggie a person has ever seen. I have regrets about my choice of colleges but I suppose if I hadn't gone there then I wouldn't be telling this story (and I'm so glad I am!).

My freshman year was so hard for me. I had had a close group of friends in high school and we spent hours upon hours together. This level of camaraderie has eluded me since those days. But never more so than that first year of college. It's not that I don't have good friends now. It's just that the amount of time you can spend just hanging out decreases rapidly outside of high school. In my experience, having less time to spend with friends really limits the depths of the relationships. None of my best friends went to A&M and I struggled to make strong relationships.

But Peter was there and we ended up doing things together by default since neither of us knew very many other people. This was uber unhealthy for me. In typical female fashion, I really wanted to still be good friends with my ex. In typical male fashion, Peter couldn't have cared less. Eventually there was some falling out, I don't presently remember what it was about (which will tell you how serious it must have been) and I stopped wanting his friendship and started hoping that he would die. "I don't actually want him to die because his family would miss him," I reasoned, "but it would be easier for me if he was dead."

It was a good thing to stop being friends with Peter though it left me even more lonely. But something was happening. Freshman year was difficult but it was a turning point in my life. A really wonderful thing occurred. I had always considered myself a Christian and had gone to college with a goal of getting closer to God. So I joined a freshman Bible study. I slowly realized that most of my beliefs actually contradicted teachings of Christianity. I realized that I either needed to believe and act like a Christian should or stop calling myself one. Though the latter was really never a valid option for me. So it came down to essentially changing my worldview from a secular-yet-quasi-spiritual, self-centered, materialistic, culturally acceptable one to a Biblical one. This was difficult and would have been impossible apart from God's grace. One of the most painful things was confronting the wickedness of my own heart. But, of course, that is why Christ came to die. Because we are all evil and in need of a savior. So there was pain but there was immense hope. And throughout my college years and beyond I continue to lean more and more on the promise of this hope in Christ that I had found.

Interestingly enough, across campus, Peter was having a similar experience. And these two experiences are really the crux of the story because had we not each become Christians, this story would be completely different. And it would have been more tragic than anything Shakespeare ever wrote. I shudder at the thought!

Fast forward to sometime Sophomore year. I no longer wish death on Peter and we've ended up going to the same church. We're not really friends but we have some common acquaintances and we can say hello to each other with no hard feelings.

One day around this time I'm sitting in my dorm room at my desk and I suddenly have the knowledge that I'm going to marry Peter. It just bombarded into my brain. I didn't put much stock in this revelation or make any wedding plans just yet. We hardly even spoke to each other except in passing! But I felt that it was an urging of the Holy Spirit and I knew I would just have to be patient to see if it came to pass.

Fast forward again to my senior year. I'm slightly frustrated by now because I felt like I was going to marry Peter but we're still merely acquaintances. I certainly wasn't making any of my life decisions based on a feeling I once had when I was sitting at my desk two years before. Besides, there was this nagging friendship with another guy from high school that always had the expectation of something more (in my mind anyways). So, I'm a senior in college and I have a mind full of possibilities but no actual dates. It's not that I was in a hurry to run down the aisle but I was anxious for a resolution to these two possibilities. One afternoon I was sitting in the chapel on campus and I prayed that God would bring just that- a resolution to these relationships so that I could either stop thinking about them or move forward with one or the other (or neither, not both!). And, similar to the time at my desk, I just knew that in three days I'd have an answer. Again, I felt this was an urging of the Holy Spirit but I would just have to wait to find out. It was a Tuesday.

On Friday Peter called and asked me out on a date! From then on was a whirlwind. We were married eleven months later. The eleven months we dated and the first year of our marriage were not without their rocky patches. I was having major struggles with grief over my dad dying in 2003. The years between his death and 2006 were difficult for me.

But I don't doubt for a minute God's grace in putting Peter and I together. We are so blessed to have each other. We are like minded in all the important areas including (especially!) outdoor recreation. If we had not both become Christians early in our college years I definitely would not be saying that. Because as far as we are from being Christ-like now, those two teenagers who first started dating over ten years ago were utterly without hope for this life or the next. We have a long way to go but we have Christ's righteousness that covers our sins and God's faithfulness to sustain us on our journey through this life. Our love story would not be if it were not for God who loved us first.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." Ephesians 1:8-10

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Look out! A little chubby cupid is going to strike luuuuuuuuuuuv into your heart! Don't bother trying to resist (like you could...).

Now, where did I put that bow and arrow?

Perhaps I don't need any weapons to strike luuuuuuv into the world.

I think my cute face and squeezable baby flesh will do the trick.

We went to a very romantic pediatrician appointment this morning. Here are 9 month stats:

Weight: 21 lbs, 58% (my biggest baby in the world is no more!)
Height: 29 1/4 in, 81% (but he's still on the tall side!)
Head Circumference: 18 in, 63% (With an above average sized head! Because he's so smart....)

Much love to you all! (Watch out for cupids.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby John: 9 months of Luuuuuuuv

John turned nine months today and I cannot believe how the time has flown. He's knocking on the door of a year! It has been a while since I interviewed him so I sat down with him to get his take on life so far:

Mom (M): Baby John, thank you for taking the time to chat with me! I wanted to check in with you about what's going on as you approach your first birthday. What kinds of things are you doing?

It's getting harder to take pictures because he's always going after the camera

Baby John (BJ): Well, around six months, in a span of about a month, I learned to sit, crawl and pull up. And I've pretty much held steady since then. Though I am getting ever bolder regarding the distances I will crawl. I love to explore!

I'm also using a lot more consonant sounds in speech. I've been saying da da for a while and I know you are anxiously awaiting the ma ma. My receptive language is developing. I recognize my name and the word no (a tiresome word I've heard many times lately...).

I am thisclose to being able to wave hello! I'm also working on other signs like, eat, up, more, and please. I can't do these yet but I assume since you say them to me millions of times per day, I'll probably catch on soon.

I'm also working on my sense of entitlement. I really feel that if I want something, then it should be mine. I know this is an area where we tend to disagree. Hey! Let's agree to disagree, amirite?

For his nine month birthday we got him a car!

M: That's cute but I don't quite abide by the "agree to disagree" philosophy in this case. We'll revisit this more in the coming years, I'm sure. Since you are so accomplished at pulling up, when do you think you will walk?

BJ: You know mom, I really can't say. As long as I can hold onto something I can outstand anyone in line at the post office. It's the moving of my feet that eludes me. I don't know how you guys do it walking around on two feet all day!

M: It does have its challenges! But I'm curious, Baby John, what is the worst thing that can happen to you on any given day?

BJ: I'd definitely have to say nose wiping for this one. When you try to wipe the snot off from underneath my nose it sends me into back-arching, head-wagging paroxysms of despair!

Actually, that's not true. He was "helping" his dad clean out the car.

M: I've noticed. And why do you think this is?

BJ: Mom, I really can't answer that. There are several services rendered me throughout the day that I fail to appreciate. Changing my diaper and clothes are are other examples. Even though you insist that having a diaper change is far preferable to sitting in my own urine, sometimes it just irks me! I guess these things just take time out of my day that I could be having fun.

M: And what fun things do you like to do during your day?

BJ: I'm so glad you asked! I really like to be out and about. I usually get lots of attention, which I also love. Everyone always comments on how happy I am! Which, is 99% true but they don't know how cranky I can be sometimes when it's just you and me at home and I'm bored and tired.

I like being around people, I go to the nursery at church and also at the Y and I love both those places and they love me as well! I also like to go to baby time at the library. I love interacting with my peers there, they are often convenient for me to chew or pull up on.

I mostly love to be with you and dad, singing songs, reading books, playing toys, being thrown up in the air and caught, jogging, playing peek-a-boo. All sorts of things! But I don't like to sit still for very long, that's for sure!

M: I'm so glad that you are happy doing so many things! It is a joy for me to spend my days with you and it only gets better and better! Happy 9 month birthday! And, of course, never forget that I luuuuuuuuuuuuv you!

"One of the greatest pleasures in my life is paper."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

luve is not luve*

Today I'm posting one of my favorite Shakespearean sonnets. It also happens to be pretty much the only sonnet that I'm familiar with and it is a luuuuuuuuuv sonnet, of course:

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

I first heard this sonnet in the movie adaptation Sense and Sensibility** with Emma Thompson and I was moved by it.

I love William's description of love. It's very idealistic. But that is the way many of us imagine that it should be: enduring through tumultuous circumstances, unwearied by the passage of time, remaining steadfast even to the "edge of doom". Yet is seems like in real life love is not like this. It is fickle. It comes and goes. Sometimes it even seems to turn into hate. For example, when you see two people who were once married, and presumably in love, now divorced and fighting each other tooth and nail over their season tickets to the opera and their cat while they badmouth each other to their children.

So where is the disconnect between what we think love should be and what it actually is? Why do we have so few examples of enduring love in our world?

Shakespeare concludes the sonnet by saying:

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

By that he means that if the glowing description of love that he's written about is proven to be false, then he must renounce his beliefs regarding the subject. Furthermore, he maintains that if he's wrong about the perfect nature of love, that no man has ever loved.

I was going to simply post the sonnet in honor of luuuuuuuv month but as I read it again, I was struck by that last couplet. I feel that Willie is wrong in his description of love and therefore that no man has ever loved. I also think that Shakespeare himself knew that the ideal that he holds up could never be found in a human heart. If you read any number of his plays you will see human depravity on flamboyant display- usually couched in bawdy humor with some fairies or specters thrown in.

A lot of what we, myself included, feel is love is nothing more than selfish fantasies, self-serving emotions and lust.

But Shakespeare isn't totally wrong because that perfect love does exist. The one that endures to doom. And it did endure to doom and not only that but it conquered doom. God is love. (1 John 4:8) He demonstrated his love to us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).

And for those who believe in Him, we must love. But not only that, we can love. Christ freed us from self and sin so that we can love each other. (Happy Valentine's Day!) And when we do love each other that is a sign that God abides in us and that His love is being perfected in us! (1 John 1:12). I don't even understand it. So often the love I give to others is terribly incomplete and riddled with selfishness. But then I must cast myself all the more on God's perfect love and it's gift of salvation.

Shakespeare was onto something. No man ever loved except One. And we love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

* When I was googling to find the sonnet I typed in "luve is not luve" by mistake. My brain, sometimes it's like "peace out." And then I have finagle my way through the day without it. If only I knew where it goes off to... probably Cancun.

** I will not definitively say that you cannot have a happy life if you haven't seen this movie but I can't fathom how you can. Though there are many things that I can't fathom, so it may be possible. ;o) (Watch the movie, is what I'm saying. Its my favorite!)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

January Books

This post is a bit of a cheat because I wrote it before I decided that my posts for the month would be luuuuuuuuuv-themed. But I think it works because I am a bibliophile and that essentially means book luuuuuuuuuuuver.

Last year a blogging friend of mine read over 50 books and she has 2 small children. I was duly inspired to set some reading goals for myself this year. My goal isn't 50, but I'm hoping to read maybe 1-2 per month. We're also starting a book club at my church and I joined a book club in my neighborhood so that I can meet more moms in the area.

So, I've got a lot of books to read! I'm hoping to write reviews each month. Here are my January books:

1. Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney

This was the January read for the church book club. This is a short book with a lot of food for thought. I loved it and would highly recommend it. I hesitate to write too much because many of the concepts in the book were so simple yet so challenging. He gave a lot of practical suggestions for cultivating humility. And he also spoke about why humility is important: it is at the heart of the gospel. The ultimate example being Christ who died for a stubborn, ungrateful and rebellious people. Definitely worth reading especially since it is short.

2. Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuv this book! I want everyone to read it! It is also very short. I have been looking forward to reading this for a long time. It is about family traditions (as you may have guessed). Growing up, my family really didn't have many customs specific to us. But I am so excited about forming traditions with Peter and our child(ren). I think there are so many opportunities to develop creative traditions that make life fun, remind us and teach our children where our hope lies. Noel Piper has a lot of inspiring ideas along those lines. I would highly recommend this book, it made me so happy!

3. Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello

This is the February book for my neighborhood book club. I think a book discussion group is a great way to make friends. You can get to know people really well because the literature introduces many topics that otherwise might never come up in conversation. The downside is that you're reading other people's book picks which are sometimes books that you would never choose. This can be a good way to branch out of a literature rut. But sometimes it ends up being just that: a book you would never choose. This book, is a memoir that I would not recommend.

It wasn't terrible. It was a decently fun and quick read. The writing was entertaining enough. But I feel that it added very little of value to my life.

It did provide a glimpse into a world that I will NEVER be apart of. The Birkin, for those of you who are not in the luxury goods market, is a high-end handbag that costs upwards of $10,000. Now, I might one day spend $10,000 on a handbag. But that will only be if it doubles as a bomb shelter, a babysitter, does my grocery shopping, cleans my house and allows me to eat handfuls of frosting without gaining a calorie.

The author of the book found a way to buy these handbags all over Europe and resell them on ebay, mostly to customers in the U.S. where they're more difficult to get. There were some funny encounters; like when the author had to hire a body guard to rescue a bag of his that was being "held hostage". But mostly it was a lot of him recounting his travels to exotic locales and what he ate and drank there. It became repetitive.

The one redeeming part of the book came towards the end when, after a family tragedy, he realized how empty are the excesses and extravagances of the luxury goods world. So he got out of the business. And then the book ended rather abruptly.

I have to admit, part of me wished I could have his job. He basically went shopping in exotic cities, posted things on eBay, and then made thousands of dollars (usually enough to cover his travel and then profit on top of that). That doesn't sound so bad! But I don't really think I'd fit into the luxury brands world. Somehow I don't think they'd take me seriously in my thrift shop couture.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Amore: Luuuuuuuuv Italian Style

Ahhhh. Italiano, it is the language of love, is it not? Don't Italians spend their days cruising around on gondolas passionately singing about their feelings? Isn't it Valentine's Day every day in Italy?

Perhaps not, I've never been to Italy. But they do seem to have the reputation of being lovers over there.

Either way, spaghetti and meatballs: that says love. To Peter anyways. And not just spaghetti and meatballs but all types of food (especially free), as I mentioned in my last post. The way to his heart is through his stomach.

And you know one of the ways to my heart? Through the freezer.

I luuuuuuuv having meals in the freezer. It makes my heart so haaapeeeee. It takes a load off of me because I know if I have "one of those days" I can just defrost something without having to cook. Or if we go out of town and come home to a bare fridge, I have food already prepared. Or if just I go out of town with the wee one, Peter will be able to eat meals that aren't solely from Taco Cabana (or Chick-fil-A).

It's also a good way to love others. I wanted to have meals already prepared to give to people who are going through stressful times, for one reason or another.

Other people have loved our family very well through their willingness to bring us meals. Our church in Salt Lake City brought us food after John was born and our church in Houston did the same thing when we moved back. It was helpful beyond words!

Somewhere around the holidays we depleted our freezer meals. So my goal for February has been to stock back up. My plan is not to run out again but to replace meal by meal. Yesterday I began the process by making three batches of Meatballs and Red Sauce. I've posted this recipe before. It is one of our favorites.

So this type of luuuuuuuuv doesn't just have to be Italian, obviously. You can make French food or Mexican food, Icelandic or Greek. Whatever suits you (not that I know what Icelanders eat)! But if you do make some Italian food you should listen to the Italian-cookin' play list Peter made me:
That's Amore
Mambo Italiano

It's meager but fun. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Who invented the freezer?? I hope that person won the Nobel Prize!

Buon appetito!

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Second Thing About Luuuuuv

The second thing about love is that sometimes it makes you do crazy things that you might not do if you weren't blinded by passion.

Peter loves free food. (Between his love for food and my love for frosting, you would think that we would both be more rotund than we are...) And at times he will go to lengths to get it. Rarely have his sacrifices for freebies surpassed inconvenience. He might have to linger at work in the evening listening to a lecture to get free dinner, for example. But Wednesday night he went to lengths that surprised even me.

A few friends of ours were going to camp out over night at a Chick-Fil-A opening from 6 am on Wednesday until 6 am Thursday. Apparently when that store opens they let 100 people camp in their parking lot. Those who stay for 24 hours get a year's worth of free chicken sandwiches (52 coupons).

This all sounds nice and good except for the fact that we are having hard freezes and high winds.

Peter has some cold-weather camping gear which we lent to our friends to help them endure unto the end. We gave them our mummy sleeping bags, a 4-season tent, and our camping pads (pads that go under the sleeping bag cushioning you from the hard, unmerciful ground. Please, don't go camping without one).

Then yesterday evening I called one of our friends to see how they were holding up. They were doing fine. She also mentioned that there was still space left because 100 people hadn't shown up at 6 am and a few had left (I can't imagine why.). I relayed this information to Peter. I could immediately see the gears turning in his head. He couldn't have gone for 24 hours because he had to work, but he could go spend the night and still get the coupons.

"Leslie, that's like $300 worth of free food!" he said, his eyes lighting up.

"Indeed" I replied, unimpressed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to turn my nose up at free food. But, for some strange reason, this did not sound like a good idea to me.

So, I left him to work out the details with our friends who were already camping while I went to exercise. I didn't think he'd do it. Especially not since we'd lent out all of our cold-weather gear. He only had long underwear left to keep him warm!

I was wrong. I called him on my way home and he was on his way to Chick-Fil-A without a sleeping bag, mattress pad or tent (but with his long underwear on!). There was room for him in one of the other tents, so he didn't have to sleep outside and he did have a few blankets. But I still don't know how he managed to stay warm (though he assured me that he did.).

And for spending an uncomfortable, frosty night on the unyielding ground of a Chick-Fil-A parking lot, he has 52 coupons for free chicken sandwiches to show! He was happy with the outcome. And I suppose this will be the Year of Chick-Fil-A in our house!

To paraphrase a quote from Shakespeare:

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the {stomach};
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
- A Midsummer Night's Dream

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The first thing about luuuuuuv

whipped topping dollops

The first thing about love is that it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But when you're hubby is working long hours and it's freezing outside, sometimes you may need a little help. Enter: hot chocolate.

I love hot chocolate. I love drinking hot drinks of all kinds, coffee, wassail, tea. The problem is that I live in Houston. It's quite a rare thing here to get the right combination of cold weather and hot drinks so that you can appreciate them both simultaneously, each enhanced by the other. Usually, I just end up drinking the hot drinks and sweating through it.

Today, it was unquestionably a day for hot chocolate. It is cold, lows in the 20's. (The forecasters are predicting a "wintry mix" for tomorrow night. I don't know what that is but doesn't it sound delightful? I'm told it might mean snow!). So, I invited some friends over for some hot chocolate. Unfortunately, what didn't line up today was other people's schedules. Only one person could make it. But since I spend my winters here just waiting for the next time I can drink hot chocolate when it's cold, I decided to go ahead and do it up big.

I made this hot chocolate. This was really tasty. There might be better hot chocolate recipes out there with less high fructose corn syrup. But what I was really excited about were the whipped topping dollops that accompanied the hot chocolate. I think these are precious, precious, precious! I definitely hope to make them again. I used heath bars, cinnamon, and shaved Andes mints as toppings.

My friend and I had a lovely time and since there were only two of us, I have some leftover hot chocolate. It will hopefully get us to the weekend. Then the weather will warm up and we'll have to make some lemonade and go work on our tans. Such is a Texas winter.

I hope you all are staying warm and fuzzy!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Happy February to you all! And what a month it is. When you hear the word February, don't you just think pink and lace paper hearts? Perhaps it's just me. It's the month of luuuuuuuuv! Don't you just love luuuuuuuv?

Actually, I think love is a strange word in our language. In other languages there are different words to describe various types of love. In English, however, I can say that I love Peter and I love frosting. And, to someone observing on a technical level, it would appear that perhaps I could have married a can of frosting and been just as happy (which, I'll admit, might come close to the truth in my case).

Since Nestle and Hallmark saw fit to fill this void in our lives between Christmas and Easter with Valentine's Day, I'm going to make luuuuuuuv the theme of my posts this month. I don't really know where this will go, but it seems like it could be fun. :o)

I've always enjoyed Valentine's Day. Even when I was single. I will not dismiss a holiday (as silly and consumer-motivated as it might be) that promotes the eating of chocolate!

Much luuuuuv to you all and hopefully I'll be able to think of some lovely things to write here this month. (Though, I know most of you only come for the pictures.)

Totally unrelated: When you come to this blog and it looks stupid (now, for example), I would just like you all to know that I know that it looks stupid. I am simply incapable of fixing it. I'm inept at most computer-y type things. I'm thankful enough that I can turn one on (because with many electronics, I can't even get that far). I'm trying to learn some design skills for the blog but it is very far from the top of my list of priorities.