Tag Archives: real life

Monday Morning Makeover ~ Are You Photoshopping Your Life?

Your Life: Real or photo-shopped?

Grandma’s Pudding and the Red, White, and Blue

banana pudding 5I  pause only a brief moment to pull up the memory.

In my mind’s eye I see a hand built bar extending in front of the stove. On it is a black rotary phone, glasses, sweet tea, and pop bottles awaiting the evening meal, and there, covered in plastic wrap in a clear glass bowl is my grandma’s banana pudding.

A few years ago I happened upon notes in one of my cookbooks. I was thrilled. Grandma had been with her God for years, and I thought her famous banana pudding left with her. But there, in my own handwriting, were adaptations to the pudding recipe with the note, “Grandma’s way” next to them.

A new 4th of July tradition was born that day, and I held my own bowl of banana pudding high when I arrived at my brother’s house whispering, “Grandma’s recipe.”

It was first on my to-do list this morning (well right after the 3.77 mile walk with hubby and the two eggs and 1 chicken sausage I ravenously consumed after that.)

The pudding was made the old-fashioned, southern way–layered vanilla waffers and perfectly ripened bananas.

banana pudding 1a

Whole milk, sugar, eggs and flour on the stove, don’t stop stirring.

banana pudding 2

Finally, just when you think your arm is going to fall off, it thickens.

banana pudding 3

Then you add the real butter and real vanilla. (Grandma used margarine, but even the best banana pudding ever sometimes needs tweaks.)

banana pudding 4

Once mixed, it flows over the bananas and wafers, then is decorated with a few crumbles, just like Grandma did.

banana pudding 1

Then it is off to the refrigerator where the cookies become mushy, the bananas softer, and the flavors invade each other to make a new one, slightly altered by their unity.

Today is a celebration day. Not a day to count calories or worry about the waist line. It’s a day to embrace my little family and rejoice that my son asked for Grandma’s pudding, pulling my past into this cycling of life to the future.

Celebration isn’t about money or bells and whistles. It’s the simple things, like Grandma’s pudding and cuddling under a blanket together to watch fireworks. It’s also the deep things. Gratitude for loved ones. A humble embrace of freedoms earned by another’s sacrifice. A moment’s reflection on the value of the human soul, the meaning of liberty. (Thanks, Jerry for the link.)

Now to bake pies and fry chicken. I wanted to grill in the backyard, but the kids wanted a picnic at the fireworks site. Call me old-fashioned but sandwiches and chips just don’t cut it today, so I’m off to the kitchen.

It’s a good thing Jerry and I walked before breakfast.

Happy Fourth!

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Grandma’s Pudding and the Red, White, and Blue!

Embrace a New Day (Days 118 and 119)

Every morning is a new day to embrace. The sun may set on a day of disappointments, but it rises to possibilities for success!sunset 2

Real life rarely looks like you planned it–at least not at my house.

Earlier this week I blogged about determination and discipline. The posts I found in my journal for today show my reality–some days you’re determined and disciplined and feel close to God, the world, and yourself. Others? Not so much.

Day 118 ~ Worked for the morning. Did 30 minutes of Pilates. Worked for the afternoon. Took a walk just before sunset. I felt drawn to a nearby middle school and circled it several times. Found myself praying a lot for the kids there. A bunch of guys played soccer in a field nearby, and I prayed God would raise a leader who would keep those kids engaged in healthy things, like that soccer game, and away from damaging choices. ~ Feb. 18

Day 119 ~ Another Tuesday without exercise. With my back to back appointments every Tuesday I don’t get it in unless I am very focused.. I am so proud of myself when I get up in time to go outside or do Pilates before my morning appointment, but I didn’t today. I didn’t even try. It was really cold, and I just couldn’t bring myself to face the outside temperatures. And I was in a bad mood, so no alternative exercise. Ugh. Someone with a bit more determination might come home and worked out late in the evening, but by the time I got home it was about 7:30, and I was starving and exhausted and done! ~  Feb. 19

And here we in May. Today was one of those determined/disciplined days when all feels right with the world and my heart. I’ve exercised, made healthy choices, been productive at my work, and enjoyed time with my God, my husband, and my best friend. Had a great conversation with the bride-to-be who, like her mother, seems to be having an all is right with the world day.

You probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk with either of us a couple of days ago, though, when we were still working on wedding stuff at 10 p.m., sitting at Village Inn, stuffing our faces, and trying not to cry . . .

If I were to search for take-away value for today’s blog I guess I’d say that snapshots of real life just aren’t picture perfect. They are . . . real. Some days the sun sets on disappointments. Some days when it sets we feel successful.

The question is what do we do with life’s ups and downs? What I’m hanging onto more every day is that whole idea that perseverance is only one choice away. Success on the weight loss journey, as well as in real life, is not about doing everything perfectly. It’s about getting up each morning and making the choices that lead to your goals. It’s about forgiving yourself when you think you don’t measure up and not letting the down days steal away the successful ones.

His mercies are new every morning.

So . . . let’s take THIS day, THIS choice, and use it to empower us toward success!

Encourage your friends:

His mercies are new every morning.

Real life isn’t perfect, but it is full of perfectly wonderful moments.

Don’t let a bad yesterday steal the promise of a successful today.