December 27, 2008

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. - Matthew 1: 18

I can watch Harry Potter, The Office, Little Women, or Elf over and over again and never tire of their tales. I can sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 1000 times from Thanksgiving to Christmas day and it never gets old. I know all the standard fairytales - Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast - they've been burned into my mind since age 4 or 5 and I'm pretty sure they'll still be there 50 years from now. But the story of Jesus' birth? Heard it, seen it, played Mary in church pageant.

I was sitting through about the 20th Christmas Eve Candlelight service of my life on Tuesday night and found myself thinking, 'this is so redundant. Why do we have to do this every year? Sure, the music is pretty, the sanctuary looks magical with the tree and candles; I'm surrounded by family and friends...but we all know this story, right? Why do we need to be reminded every year?' I know, I know, those thoughts deserve a little criticism. I happily gave myself that criticism while sitting in church that night.

I asked God to make something of the centuries old story new to me that night. I wanted some new application; some cool story I'd be able to share and impress my family and friends with.

I read back through the story in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is the simplest story. Mary and Joseph were married but had not had sex. Mary was pregnant though. An angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid and to call the baby Jesus. Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census - because Joseph was from David's lineage, he had to travel to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. Because everyone was traveling, there were no rooms left in the inns. Well, that baby was coming, so they needed some kind of shelter. Enter a barn, a stable, a trough, and farm animals. Shepherds, angels, Magi all traveled to see this boy wonder. They brought gifts, they sang praises to the know the rest.

I'll be honest, I was dissppointed, after reading through the story several times, to have found no new nugget of spiritual application. Just as I suspected, it was the same ole' story, with the same ole' characters.


Oh but wait! Ok, so these writers are telling me that God - yes, THE GOD who created this world - came to earth in human form, was born where animals eat hay and slop, had normal parents, grew up a carpenter, began a ministry, performed miracles, died on a cross so that I don't have to spend eternity in hell, and inspired his followers to begin the church.

Wow, Peyton. Nothing new about that story. But everything divine and holy and sacred and inspiring, and yes, simple about that story. In the coming year, I am going to live in the simplicity of my faith, the divinity of the baby savior, the holiness of the holy spirit living in me, and the sacrifice of THE GOD who, so high and mighty, made himself so low and humble to save me, the gal who selfishly sits in church on Christmas Eve demanding some new nugget of spiritual inspiration. Ugh. I'm so vain.

December 17, 2008

She's a good girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus, and America too

John Mayer, please come sing me to bed every night. I wouldn't ask for anything more. I feel like Ursela in The Little Mermaid wanting Ariel's voice. Seriously, how can someone's voice sound so marvelously velvety? Thank you Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne for writing this song (on the album, "Full Moon Fever", released in 1989). Tom, your version sounded good...but John sounds AH-MAZING (on the album, "Where the Light Is", released in 2008). I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I do. I've listened to it over and over and over today.

Oh, but wait, here's another one. This is a duet with Sarah McLachlan. Yep, his guitar playing is just a velvety smooth as his singing...

Hold your horses, he's also got a sense of humor. Ladies, he's the full package.

December 8, 2008


So I am posting this because I think it's cool. I'm trying to redo the way I think about food...i.e. eating for sustanance and not for pleasure. But I have had a few pleasurable experiences with food. The ones I've had on this list are in bold...

"A food blogger created a list called "The Omnivore's 100". It's a list of 100 foods that he or she believes, "every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all." It's turned into a bit of a game where people repost the list on their blogs, highlighting the things they have tried. So here's my list:


1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (does this just mean chocolate? Because I've definitely eaten my weight in chocolate pudding over the years.)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush (I love saying this.)
11. Calamari
12. Pho (Mmmm. You should try it at Pho Vy on River Road. Delish! Btw, it's pronounced 'PHUH'.)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (Nathan's outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC!)
16. Epoisses (Isn't this a greek god?)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (I'm including Peach Tingle in this.)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (SCARY!!!)
27. Dulce de leche (That's dooshe de looshe to my buddy, Will)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (I pretty much lived on IBC growing up.)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (No, but that would be awesome!)
37. Clotted Cream Tea (Clotted Cream sounds even more gross than the word "moist".)
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (AND it was RAW!! I should get double points for that!)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (Have also probably eaten my weight in these.)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores (I'm so glad this made the list!)
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (I'm pretty sure this is chalk.)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (If Andrew Zimmern can't eat it, then neither can I.)
66. Frogs’ legs (Killed and cooked them babies.)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (This was my fave when I worked at the Butler's Pantry)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (I don't know if it was of the "Louche" persuasion, but it was definitely illegal to have in the U.S. - which makes me feel oh-so-cool.)
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini (Had one of these at the first Valentine's Day Mark and I celebrated together.)
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (Haha! Yes! Thanks to Meagan's gift from San Fran!)
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash (Thanks, Brad, for allowing me to cross this one off of my list!)
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish (I'd like to know who, in this great part of our nation, has NOT tried catfish???)
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (One of my favorite things ever, although I rarely buy it.)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake (Of the rattle variety. Thanks Ben!)

46 out of 100 ain't bad for this gal from little ole Columbus, GA. See if you can beat me.