Monday, September 05, 2011


I think everyone will be glad to know that I have been talked down from the meal-planning related cliffs of insanity. My sister-in-law was laughing because we had this exact conversation exactly one month ago and I researched a bunch of websites that vow to help out with dinner/grocery shopping issues and emailed her some suggestions.

The difference is that she actually reads the websites and takes their advice. Her family is well-fed and happy. 

Mine are under-nourished, but forgiving. {Chocolate chip cookies will get you that, at least.}

A sweet friend really helped me find my cooking mojo again...knowing that I work on inspiration, not organization or planning. {This would explain a lot of decisions in my home, like the revolving door of decor on the main level and the pit of shame in the basement.} 

Anyway, she suggested I watch some cooking shows where they make amazing food, and pretty soon I'd be wanting to join their ranks.

Well, she was right.

I didn't even have to watch the shows. I just had to think about them and click around on the Food Network website and...HEALED!

Tonight, one of our primary food groups of summer was re-visited: The Burger and It's Many Wonderful Variations. All it took was a little caramelized onions and jalapenos, swiss cheese and spicy barbecue sauce before I was shunning the pizza/pot roast combo forever.

In the name of accountability, here's our menu for this week:
M-burgers {check, glorious check.}
T-chicken & mozzarella ravioli
W-spicy chicken & sausage jambalaya
Th-chicken cordon bleu
F-Hot Dog Quesadilla Wrap {OH, I KID}


We did have a particularly awesome weekend...and yes, it involved food.

After living in Colorado for NINE entire years {approximately 7.5 longer than we ever imagined}, we've grown tired of being the shame of the entire state.

This is amazing, beautiful country, and we rarely leave our suburban campsite that could  double as suburbia anywhere.

Brad and I came to the terrible reality that we spent more time in the mountains--as vacationers and skiiers--before we lived here.

On a clear day, you can see Pikes Peak from our house, and we decided this would be the weekend we summited the mountain.

If you're thinking we hiked, than you've never visited Pikes Peak. But if you saw the photo above and immediately knew Lilly devoured a donut with awesome puffing capability due to the altitude, then you are a veteran.

I'm a little hesitant to post so many "scenic" pictures, because I'm picturing an old blue floral velvety picture album at a nursing home opening up, while the reader gets a look of panic and dread while wondering how long MeMaw is going to bore her with an unending narrative of Pikes Peak{!} and eleventy million pictures that don't even contain people.

But we're not at a nursing home and you can click away RIGHT NOW, so be my guest:)

But in defense of a lengthy photo montage, our little excursion was really cool.

Just ask Lilly. 

The beauty of the uphill drive, the extra-tall mountains, the glimpses of thousands of miles of land were so gasp-worthy, that I could totally see how Katherine Lee Bates could write "America The Beautiful" while hanging out up there.

I'm not even a songwriter, and I wanted to write something or sing something or just run around freaking out because it was so beyond words.

{I am wondering a little about the "fruited plain." Didn't see it. Even the "amber waves" seemed more like dead grass and trees, but the beauty of poetic license is that she could've imagined it to be grain, but I saw on the drive up the mountain that it was clearly NOT.} 

Instead of getting patriotic, we cranked up the David Crowder and had our own little worship time in the car.

And we talked a lot about the geologic chicken or the egg-- "mountain or the rocks." Did God create mountains and then they crumbled some and then these huge rocks were created? Or did he just create rocks as sprinkles on top of the mountains?

Either way, it was great to see this beautiful state from a brand new perspective.

I tend to be a little indoorsy, and find no shortage of opportunity to praise God for a clearance item at Target or a just-reduced pair of jeans at Nordstrom Rack. 

But it's humbling to thank Him for creating rocks that cry out His praise and to stand on mountains that were clearly carved by His voice. It brings a different joy to see the dimension of clouds a breath away and the awe on a diverse community of faces as they collectively revel in what no man could make. It reminds me that I am so small and He beyond what I can even conceive of as "big."

But since they don't have trampolines on top of the mountain, we had to come back down.

And if you haven't read Psalm 19 in awhile, you just might:)