Friday, January 13, 2012

The Tale of the Elusive Nutty Bavarian

The following tale is completely over exaggerated and a bit irrational. But now that you've been warned, I will tell it to you anyway.
In most towns you can almost smell Christmas coming, weeks before it's arrival. You can expect to see street lights dressed in piny garland and white lights and some radio stations begin to sneak "Mary Did You Know," into their play lists maybe once an hour or so. Young ones begin to make their grocery list of toy wants while older ones plot newer more elaborate theories on how "Santa" arrives to fill their younger siblings minds with. Slowly, you arrange your house artificial tree by tree and vow to develop a more full proof plan for hiding presents this year. 

Me? I see it in the mall. Oh yes, massive hanging snowflakes arranged in the high ceilings, the Chik-Fil-A Cow now donning a red and white fuzzed cap.  Store windows are glittering with artificial snow and signs pop-up everywhere telling you that, "Snuggies make great gifts during this cold holiday season!!" All of these things are pretty good warning signs that everyone has forgotten it's still November and that Christmas is coming.  But the best, most distinct and until recently, most elusive sign of them all is... The Nutty Bavarian!!! (Cue power going out and loud lighting and thunder) 

Ahhhh, the Nutty Bavarian cart.  Sweet smells of roasted almonds, pecans and peanuts. Cinnamon filling the hallways and capturing your nostrils like a... a... cinnamon scented thing might capture ones senses... Hmmm. Anyway, it's intoxicating and if you've ever been around one you know what I mean when I say that every time someone buys a bag of these cinnamon roasted gems, an angel gets its wings! The mall in Joplin, MO would get one of these vendors only around the Christmas season. For 3 years I walked the halls of this mall, smelling heavens nutty treasures, but alas I could not find where the cart was!! Seriously, I walked from one end to the other and this sucker was hidden really stinking well. Until one glorious day, they put it smack dab in the middle of the mall!! And it was up, for two years straight!!! However, this took some of the magic away from them as they were no longer rare and there was a lesser need to make them last. But nonetheless, my quest was complete. Then I discovered Pinterest and I learned how to make them myself. The End!

I don't want to take credit for something I did not create myself. While the pictures I post will be of my own finished product, for the crafts or foods I used specifically through Pinterest I will include the link I found them from. I figure I can help support another person's crafting and culinary discoveries and for mine I can give tutorials to help you create your own or if you live close I can spend time creating them for you too!

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

I made some of these for my wedding as well and they were a huge hit! No lie, it is hard to beat those vendors but this is a cheaper way to get something very close and in a larger quantity.  Super easy and super good. This is a batch I helped my sister make for her Bavarian Nut addicted husband. He approved :) Happy Baking!

Link to recipe:

Boldly and Brashly with love,
Mrs. P

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's the Couch For Ya! Argh!

Forgiving is a hard thing to do and I wish it weren't so. It means choosing to believe someones apology rather than believe it's a way for them to clear their conscience. It means excusing the incident and continuing to love where you left off. Ugh, that one is especially hard. To be so mad one minute and then to love enough to hug and make up? I didn't like it as a kid and I still have a hard time being able to smile minutes after being hurt.

Marriage is a good field to learn how to forgive more freely. You have to, or it's the couch for ya! Argh!! My husband forgives quite freely and with great ease. Sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach because I know I hardly ever do that for him in return. It's not that I don't love him, I'm just stubborn. This stubbornness, if let to run wild, cultivates grudges. Grudges in my case come in the form of a catalog of wrong doings one has done against me or the total refusal to invest time or interest in someone even if I don't know them at all.  They hurt me or someone I loved and that's all I need to know, right?! Wrong. By choosing to be this way I burn bridges with people that could have used love over judgment or I end up looking fake as I force myself to be cordial without truly allowing myself to cultivate a relationship. However, God continues to do something wonderful for me that serves as a good kick in the rear. When I want to catalog someones wrongs, He presents me with opportunities to see into their lives so I can see who they truly are and not just their mistakes. And those I am fake to? (This is the best) I always end up finding out that they are a lot like me; hobbies, demeanor, likes, dislikes, etc. Awesome right? I can't keep turning from them because I start to feel for them and I can't pretend to be anything when I honestly relate to and understand them. Ouch.

As of this day I can think of maybe two people my heart needs to open up better to. Just a little bit ago I got to see into the life of one of those people. Every time I do so with this particular person I find myself genuinely relating and understanding. It boggles my mind but it shouldn't. They are human just like I am. I mess up all the time and I would hate to run into someone like me who is so slow to forgive. I would want grace and understanding; maybe even a second chance. So why shouldn't I be just as willing to give that? It would be so much wiser of me than to let my rear be exposed to a God sized foot every time I want to be unmovable.

It takes a great amount of humility to forgive at all and a great deal of strength and unconditional love, two things that are impossible to have unless Christ is the source. I want to be honest in my love and God helps me to do that. Grace is a necessity, you've likely needed on multiple occasions yourself so don't be stingy in giving it! Blessed is the heart free from chains of anger. It flies freely and loves boundlessly and sees light where many may only ever see darkness. What a gift.

Boldly and Brashly,
Mrs. P

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Way to Love

Well it's a new year and while I still feel the same, look the same, and haven't aged more than 4 days since the turn of the year the new year will always seem like an opportunity for a new beginning. A clean slate to continue life on, as if we muddy up one all year just to try to muddy it up less the next. Like I said though, I'm still very much the same person. Just because it's a new year doesn't necessarily mean I get a chance to take back what I said to my husband 6 months ago during that argument or a second chance on that paper I should have put more effort into. It doesn't mean I can decide to save my money instead of have spent it and it won't give me back missed opportunities to be with friends or family. It also won't give me back a grueling 11 months of planning a wedding that I wish I had asked for more help on when I needed it, settled on ideas instead of flip flopping and focused more on the fact that I was spending the rest of my life with my fiancé not the wedding day itself. The new year does not offer second chances on time past but it offers us an opportunity to live with fewer regrets in remembrance of times past. Time wise the new year helps us to stay on track with our new goals we wish to accomplish. You really do start from square one on January first. This is how I see it anyway.

I have a list of things I desire to do differently this year, and I owe some of the credit to a book my husband and I have been reading, The Love Dare, as well as a book called Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Jesus Calling was written out of Sarah Young's personal journaling during her devotional time in the Bible. She realized that when she would simply sit in silence and seek God's voice she could her Him speaking to her. Some of it was God speaking to her through her specific circumstance at the time and some was Him speaking his already written word to her. So everyday's entry is written as she heard Him tell it to her; it's like He's speaking directly to you and I love it! In the entry for January first God is telling you that this is a New Year and a new opportunity to draw closer to Him. A new opportunity to let Him guide our paths and to truly seek His plans. It is a chance to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and through the refreshment of a new beginning.

The Love Dare is something my husband Cody and I have been doing for about two weeks now. Everyday it challenges us to love in a new way by being less selfish and cherishing each other for every intricate trait God so perfectly designed us to have. It is a chance for Cody and I to start on a firm foundation of Godly relational principles and it has been very effective for us. We have loved watching our relationship mature and our love grow simply by praying together, being in the word, and choosing to love more often than win.

Continuing through these books are one goal I have for the year here are a few more:

{Choose to go above and beyond for my husband because he is greatly cherished and deserves it
{Eat healthier
{Be consistent about exercise
{Become a morning person again
{Less sweets for me and more for others who could just use a kind gesture
{Save better
{Be content
{Say thank you, and I forgive you more
{Make fewer excuses about why I stink at staying in contact
{Spend time journaling to God
{Continue contemplating learning how to sew
{Write the six some DIY blogs I have been meaning to write :)
{Learn to pray more often, more fervently, and less selfishly

And I'm sure there is more but this is some of what I hope to improve about myself in 2012. Sorry I mean, these are what I will release to God so He can be the transforming power that makes it all stick. To Him be all the Glory.

Boldy and Brashly with love,

Mrs. P