Monday, February 27, 2012

For Lent

A prayer of inspiration taken from my daily devotional:

Prayer from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray; and to concentrate my thoughts on you; I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me…

Restore me to liberty, and enable me to live now that I may answer before you and before men. Lord, whatever this day may bring, your name be praised.


Speaking of Dietrich, his book, "The Cost of Discipleship," is one of the most amazing pieces of Christian literature I've ever read. I'd put him right up there with C.S. Lewis. If you're a Christian—heck, even if you're not, you ought to read this book.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Just a couple of kids

First, before I begin my photo dump, let me say a special happy 55th birthday to my dad! I need to make my way to SC to visit my folks soon. I'll get right on that (as soon as my vertigo finally settles back down and I can get in a car again).

Disney World was amazing. I had so much fun with my husband. If you know him, you know Walt Disney World was built for people like him :-) He enjoyed seeing WDW through my eyes (as a first-timer), and I enjoyed seeing WDW through his eyes (since he's a big kid). Plus, you just don't realize how little time you spend with your spouse during the work week until you get to vacation together. I will miss him tomorrow when we return to work.

Here are some of the highlights from our trip:

We went on a safari, scaled Everest, had champagne in France and beer in Germany, we soared over California, peered into our future, barely made it to an Aerosmith concert, dined in a 1950's sitcom, we've been to Hollywood and space and everywhere in between—and we ran into a LOT of characters along the way. We are EXHAUSTED!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day SURPRISE!

J and I don't usually make much of this over-commercialized holiday (b/c we celebrate our love every day. Gag. I know). But, we did exchange gifts yesterday.

Jonathan sent a beautiful bouquet of roses to my work:

(I suspect he really bought these because he wanted fresh flowers in our house!)

Then, I gave him salted caramels. They aren't just ANY salted caramels, they're Fran's Chocolates from Seattle. They are expensive, but they are THE. BEST. (He suspects I really bought these for myself!)

But then, the BEST surprise of all.....

WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As in the world of this:

And this:

I have never been before in my life and he's already been a million times. Next week is winter break at my school and so my husband took a couple days off work and we're going to get in touch with our inner children. I'm beside myself with excitement. I have literally no idea what to expect. I'll keep you posted on my amazing adventure!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Going Green?

I'm taking inventory of my life. I'm considering some sustainable lifestyle changes. I've been convicted lately about how much I waste. I also despise some of the food and beverages I consume (umm, please ignore my previous blogpost)—and as someone who suffers from IBS and can hardly even find foods that settle on my stomach (and especially still nourish me), I need to commit myself wholly to finding healthy meals and snacks that work for MY body.

A coworker, Meg, has inspired me with her diet. She eats NOTHING bad. Only fresh, seasonable fruits and vegetables. Who has time for that—especially with 3 kids!?! Another friend through church has committed herself and her family to the Paleo diet. If you don't know about this, you should look into it. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately my IBS doesn't tolerate most raw veggies, so I'm limited. Many of you will remember my journey through the Candida diet in early 2010. While I saw the pounds vanishing into thin air, I suffered repercussions when I added back all food groups at once. That diet (no sugar, no alcohol, no carbs or glutens) tested the bounds of my discipline. I will admit, though, that being on the diet was the best I've felt in a while—minus the low energy. My stomach felt great all the time. I only wish the diet were sustainable.

Looking ahead to spring, plans are in the works at the Melville household to build raised beds for peppers, butternut squash, tomatoes, herbs....I also want a blueberry tree. Produce is SO expensive at the grocery store, and I'm tired of having to pay so much to be healthy.

As far as going green, I found a list of ways to "go green and save some green" on They had some good suggestions—things I haven't considered before. J & I have requested recycling bins (yes, we're finally getting on that bandwagon), and I'd like to begin composting. We live near downtown, so we need to get outside more and walk or bike to our destinations.

Here's a tip from the website that I hadn't considered: "Eat smart. If you eat meat, add one meatless meal a week. Meat costs a lot at the store-and it's even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs. Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy."

Another tip that called me out: "Skip the bottled water." Ouch. I know. I'm getting there. I'm even trying to replace my plastic storage containers with glass to avoid BPA. Another coworker has me paranoid about plastic IN food—i.e. maltodextrin and dextrin. It's difficult to find food without those ingredients, even though they are illegal in Europe! There are so many food rules, my head is going to explode!

Please share your healthiest recipes with me — especially a few vegetarian meals. The requirements for my recipes are that they be fairly inexpensive and not too time-consuming. Maybe I'll share a few of them on my blog!!!

Oh, and since this is the longest-winded blogpost I've written in a while, I'll go ahead and tease you all that I plan to do my first giveaway soon! You'll want to stick around for that!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Too good not to share

If lovin' you is wrong, I don't want to be right:

I'm only sorry that my picture doesn't do it justice (I was more interested in eating it than photographing it)!

Try this one:

I may be the last person on earth to discover this recipe, but I'd be morally remiss if I didn't share it on the mere chance that YOU don't know about this sinful concoction!

I got this recipe from a coworker whose niece found it on Pinterest. I made it Saturday for an outing with my Community Group. All I can say is WOW.

Step 1:

Cookie dough.

Step 2:


Step 3:

Brownie batter over top.

Bake covered for 30 mins at 350. Continue baking uncovered for 20-25 minutes longer.

Serve warm with ice cream on top!!!!! My only complaint was that it's a bit of a pricey dessert...but, it's worth every penny. Oh, and it's difficult to cook the brownie batter at the center of the pan. But, whoever complained about brownie batter!?!? ENJOY :-)