Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Food

Are there special things you eat at Christmas?
My family eats mostly the same things at Christmas and we do basically a Christmas breakfast no matter what time of the day we eat it.  Mom takes care of most of that so I tend to not have to do the cooking for that meal, thankfully.
MK however grew up eating some non traditional foods, and by non traditional foods I mean, non traditional southern Christmas recipes, (which to me rain supreme over all recipes, but I digress).
Friday  MK took a big BIG test that determined him keeping his job. He passed with flying colors! Yay!  
We were very excited!  So I cooked him Kung Pao Chicken from scratch in his Wok he got for his B'day.  No, this is not a part of the Christmas foods BUT it was during the Christmas weekend so I'm including it.  It's fairly easy to make if you have all the items.  Good news is once you buy all the ingredients they last a really long time cause you only use a dab here and dash there.  I made it quite spicy and will probably cut back on the chili paste but non the less it was delish!

Saturday Morning - Christmas Eve
As I'm sure many of you eat at some point during the Christmas holiday I got up and made MK's favorite breakfast casserole.  Now - this isn't my recipe and isn't my favorite, I was raised on the bacon crescent roll variety BUT MK likes it so I make it, he eat most of it anyways.  I also knew I'd be getting my favorite the next night when we celebrated with my fam.  

Saturday Evening - Christmas Eve
MK's family across the country, according to him ALWAYS eats clam chowder on Christmas eve. So we've been making clam chowder on Christmas Eve for awhile now.  I decided this year to make it completely from scratch.  The recipes I've been given use canned clam chowder as a base.  I thought "Hey, lp, you can do this completely from scratch."  And so the experiment began.  It turned out really well and really wasn't all that labor intensive and MK was happy. 
Served up with slices of cheddar and oyster crackers of course on Christmas dishes too.

Christmas - 

I didn't really have to cook for Christmas and I failed to get photos of all the yummy food.  But I can assure you we had some of the best breakfast foods around! We had a great time at Mom and Dad's Sunday evening and loved watching our little bug open presents.  She is TONS of fun!

Day After Christmas -
Included the baking of homemade biscotti from scratch.  YUM.  No pictures because it is basically devoured!  We had treats this night at Em's.  Lots and lots of yummy goodies!

-Christmased and Cooked out lp

Monday, December 19, 2011


What speaks to your heart? 
I often wonder what touches other people's hearts.  
There are many things that make my heart flutter but I always wonder if that's because I lean more to the artistic/free spirit side of things. 
 Do analytical people have their heart flutter over colors and photos and paintings?
It's not just art that makes my heart skip a beat and yes often brings a tear to my eye.  I'll never forget viewing Monet's Le Nymphae (Water Lilies in the Round) in Paris at L'Orangerie.  I could barely breath and wished with all my heart that Mom was there with me.  

Lots of things speak to my heart, here are just a few:
A beautiful photograph
A lovely painting
Interesting Architecture
When beautiful soprano and alto voices hit a high D and B flat (sends chills down my spine)
The Beatles - Let It Be, Lady Madonna
Lovely colors blended together
The Florida Sunset specifically from the west coast - there isn't much to top it.
Paris - studying there for a summer did me in for sure, I'm addicted.
A beautiful bass voice hitting those low A's and G's...whoa.
When MK just stares at me - my knees go weak too
An awesome drummer, I have one memory of MK on a drum kit and man I love that memory.
Well - pretty much everything about that man - he just makes my heart sing. Just look at him.
People doing things for the greater good.
My grandmother's things that are now mine.  Sometimes just her rings send my heart spinning.
Good tasting food - I'm a foodie, can't help it.  Symptom of the job.
Listening to little ones say little prayers - it just pulls at those heart strings.
Heartfelt hymns sung to our Lord and Savior
Weezer - deal with it I'm weird
Friends laughing - not much does more for my soul than laughing with my girlfriends.  In fact a text message convo with a friend last night had me in tears I was laughing so hard.

Well this a longer list than I intended but I'm wondering still what speaks to your heart?  Am alone in loving beautiful sites, gorgeous paintings, incredible music??  Do these kind things make your heart skip a beat? If not what gets your right at your core?  I'm really curious.
- lp

Friday, December 16, 2011


6 years ago today MK and I got married, on a Friday.  Just like today it was a beautiful December day in Tampa (Tampa has the best winter weather around...personal opinion of course).  We set out on this journey together and I'm so thankful we're still walking it side by side.  I don't know what I'd do without him next to me holding my hand and pushing me to be better and do better everyday.  He makes like fun, interesting, exciting and FULL of surprises.  There's no one I'd rather be on this journey with other than him.  
I know God made him for me.

We've learned lots of different lessons through these 6 years of marriage and 9 total years of being together.  It seems we've always set out a plan and things never go according to that plan.  BUT that's life and that's God's way of telling us he has much bigger plans for us than we could ever plan for ourselves.  I know we needed the 6 years of it being just us and our dogs in order for us to be able to cope with life lessons God has brought our way.  We're a stronger couple together because of it.

We've also learned a tough lesson this week from some friends and it's a lesson I need to take to heart.  We lost a friend at the age of 43 this week.  He and his wife had been married 20 years and have 3 beautiful children all in those teenage years where having both parents is so important. I'm sure they had plans too and now their whole lives have changed. I can't imagine continuing my walk alone.  So I'm thankful that at the moment I've got a hand to hold and strong arms support me and I know that is only by the grace of God and I pray it continues.

So let me tell you just SOME of the reasons why I love MK so much and why 6 years of marriage means I've laughed A LOT.
He's Funny - no matter where we are, what situation it is, how somber or serious the occasion MK can always find something funny and of course makes me giggle (which is not always appropriate).

He's tall - have you ever seen him in person?  He's giant size.  Have you ever seen me in person?  I'm quite close to midget size. Sometimes it makes for a pretty comical situation whether it be trying fit us in the same picture, to having to stand on the steps to be able to hug him around the neck, to being able to walk right under his arm and not having to duck.  I like that he is tall I think it's handsome when men are tall (no offense to those of shorter stature out there - I'm sure you're handsome too).  

He's Friendly - MK will be anyone's friend.  He is genuine to the core.  I'm not always the friendliest person (shocking I know) and I've learned a lot of lessons from him in this case.  He has taught me to be more outgoing and nicer to people I don't know.  He has taught me to be more thoughtful to my friends I already have. Also - I know that if there is someone who rubs him the wrong way it's probably best I stay away from that person because it's not often that MK doesn't like someone.
He's Hardworking - He works a lot.  Between his corporate job and his store he is always working.  For example:  He got up at 5 AM to work before he went to work today.   I tell him work like that now so you don't have to later in life.

He Loves God - He does.  God is always on his mind and in his heart and he is always looking for a way to serve.

In short....MK is the best and I love him!

- lp

Monday, November 7, 2011

Early Riser

Are you an early riser?  

I'm really not at all.
When I'm up early I do enjoy how quiet and calm the morning is but as far as loving to get up early...
I'm not a huge fan. 

This weekend I had the privilege of  hearing several different women speak about women in the bible.  One of the women we studied was Abigail from I Samuel 25. It was the second time in recent months that I have been in a class about Abigail and I'm learning tons from her.  This particular lesson compared her to the woman in Proverbs 31.  And all though there are many applications and comparisons that can be made from the two one particular is in my head this morning - getting up early in the morning and being prepared.

Without retelling the entire story of Abigail let's just say she had a big task ahead of her and she was ready for it.  When Abigail learned of the big task ahead of her she did not hesitate and was ready for action.  
1 Samuel 25:18 says,

"Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys..."
That's a lot of food to just go and grab.  I don't really have prepared food in my house that I can just go and grab.  There is food that will take planning and preparation to do but I'm thinking that is not best way to go about it.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to just go and grab a bunch of food for a family that needs it instead of having to plan a trip to the grocery store, finding the time to cook the extra food, etc?  I think it would be fabulous to be able to serve others better if I were more prepared.  

So how did Abigail accomplish this?  We know she was a wealthy woman and that she probably had servants to help but I'm thinking she was prepared because she was a woman who was doing what she was supposed to in her home.  
 Proverbs 31:15 says,

"She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."

So if I'm putting two and two together correctly I'm thinking Abigail was a  
wise worthy woman of noble character.  
I think the rest of the story of Abigail points to that fact.  And if I am supposed to be a woman of noble character too then I need to be more prepared like Abigail.  I think she probably got up before the sun and took care of her family's needs.  You can probably get a lot done in the mornings.  So I'm going to start something new in my life - beginning tomorrow because I didn't do to well this morning, hey I'm being honest here.  I'm going to get up early and make sure things are taken care of for my family.  You may say that, "lp you've only got you and MK to take care of."  Well that's true it is just me, MK and the pups but that doesn't mean we don't have laundry and food doesn't need to be cooked and the house doesn't get messy.  I'd venture to say a lot of things get put off due to the fact we both are working long, long days (which is an understatement at this point) and we're too tired in the evenings to do anything.  By 6 or 7 my brain is spent and my energy is gone.  

But a good cup of coffee in the quiet of morning can really get me going.  And who knows getting up early may make things easier for me in the evenings.  
It could be a win, win (win).  

So here's to being an early riser, being prepared, and trying to stay on the path of being a noble woman.

- super early riser (fingers crossed) lp

Monday, October 24, 2011


Well let's try this getting back into blogging again.....

It's been several months again but it seems like the year just isn't getting any easier.  I've been of the mindset that I'm not going to put it all out there for the world to see and I'm still of that mindset to some extent.  We've dealt with a lot of crazy news, death, and obstacles this year.  I'm thinking though we MAY be on the upswing with news.  We need it.

For the most part life is good with it's occasional rough patches that everyone goes through and the journey is of course a lesson.  The lessons we're learning are not really lessons that I thought I'd learn and don't feel old enough to learn BUT the fact that I'm blessed with such a wonderful husband who keeps me laughing constantly seems to make up for days like today when I feel pretty melancholy about life in general.   
In truth I probably just need a nap.
In reality I need to just suck it all up and deal - I am a big girl and that's what big girls do.

The good things in life lately have been the blessings of family and close loving friends.  If it weren't for our precious families this year would be unbearable. 

How could life not feel blessed when it's shared with this precious little girl?  This is our bug who is getting to be quite the big girl at the Candy Kitchen in Indian Rocks Beach.

I have seen answered prayers in our life too and they seem to just keep coming and it's days like today I need a reality check to say, "HEY LP WAKE UP AND BE THANKFUL!" 
I'm really hoping to be able to share our story and journey with everyone soon.  I think honesty about life is the best way to help and educate others.  

So here's to keeping up with this blog, not being a Debbie Downer, and hopefully encouraging others along the way!

- L to the P

Monday, June 20, 2011

Keep 'Em Coming

And the hits just keep on coming.....

June 3rd my sweet Grandmother, Mema as we called her, passed away at the age of 91.  
It was 6 months and 3 days after my wonderful Grandfather, Daddad, passed at the age of 92.

We loved our sweet Grandparents.  They lived very long happy lives.  They spent their 71 years together spreading God's word across the South.  

They were adoring grandparents that always loved their grandchildren and as the only granddaughters we especially felt the adoration of our sweet grandparents.  We were cuddled, our hair was braided, they cooked with us, picked "tommy tomatoes" in the garden, and were showered with gifts and most importantly love.

In December when my Daddad passed we began to clean out their home.  This time we went back through everything to get ready for an estate sale.  This time it was more my grandmother's things that we were going through.  As a daughter I've always identified with my mother due to the fact I look like her clone, and love art just like her.  But going through my Mema's things I discovered that I may have inherited more from her than I originally thought.  She had a love for fashion, jewelry, beautiful dinnerware and throwing parties.  As we went through her things I found many vintage clothing that I have an updated version of or antique jewelry that is so very similar to jewelry we've bought lately.  I always knew she loved entertaining and it wasn't until a sweet friend pointed out that I was well on my way to having as many sets of dishes as she did seeing that 5 1/2 years into our marriage I have  
5 sets of dishes (6 if you count the everyday dishes I've already replaced)....
Below are just a few of the beautiful pieces of the crystal, carnival glass and depression glass that I was able to bring home.

I feel so blessed to have known these grandparents.  They were amazing people who lived beautiful lives for Christ and have now obtained their crowns with our Lord in Heaven.

- Granddaughter of Herschel and Reba Patton

Saturday, May 14, 2011


"When life hands you lemons you make lemonade."

I've heard this over and over before.  I've developed a taste for lemonade.  And I'm good with that.

After a several month hiatus I'm back.  Life got crazy and life is still crazy.  

Trials keep coming but I from my understanding that's a good thing.  

We're finding our way through this crazy life with these crazy trials and keeping our eyes on the prize.

It's pretty easy when your life is shared with a guy like this....

I can't even begin to go into what I've learned over the last few months, one day I might write about some of it, but lets just say I think I've learned some hard lessons in the last 5 months and I'm still learning to deal with those lessons.  

I do know one thing for sure no matter where our path leads we're blessed.  
Blessed beyond belief, blessed and thankful.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:14

- lp