A Saturday Tea

I just love this time of year – the sun shows its face a bit more often, and we pull out our spring clothes – lighter and brighter colors, flowy fabrics, and short sleeves.  It just makes anything you do that much more enjoyable!  Even cleaning becomes fun! 😉

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going out in the sun and wearing some bright-colored, spring clothes to have tea and lunch with a few dear ladies – Marisa, Jocelyn (Marisa’s mom) and Sherry, three of the sweetest ladies you’ll ever meet.

We convened at Three Cups of Tea, a cute little tea shop in Bothell.  It’s such a sweet little place – lots of bright colors, flowers everywhere, and perfectly portioned light entrées.  It really is the perfect place for such a lunch time meeting as this.

Each tea-drinker receives a unique and lovely teacup and a personal tea pot.  I loved the delicate flowers and gold edging on my cup!  If only I could take it home… 😉

Before we knew it, lunch arrived.  I chose a half turkey-cranberry sandwich with a side salad.  This sandwich was a perfect choice!  It had a nice, light amount of turkey, which contrasted nicely with the cranberry-cream cheese spread.  The lettuce provided a nice crunch against the soft, pillowy croissant style bread.  Yum!

Marisa and Jocelyn both decided on the individual-sized quiche.  It looked pretty tasty to me, and both ladies quite enjoyed their choice!

Sherry opted for the curried chicken sandwich with chicken noodle soup.  Despite my lack of curry-love, this sandwich looked pretty tasty.

Look at this adorable heart-shaped scone!  So precious – especially when it’s served with jam, lemon curd and clotted cream in a heart-shaped dish!

The obligatory photo of me eating…did I mention that sandwich was tasty!?  I think my favorite part of this photo, however, is the elderly fellow in the background.  He looks like he’s thinking “Oooooh, is that my lunch coming?”  Love it.

Here’s evidence of Marisa getting a bit silly with the camera.  Because I obviously wasn’t being silly at all!

Now, aside from being insanely cute and having delicious food, Three Cups of Tea has a special spot in our hearts.  Two years ago, the four of us ladies came here for a little brunch get-together.  At the end of that meal, we took photos of each other from across the table.

Here is Sherry and Jocelyn then:

And here they are now:

As lovely as ever!

And now for the children then…

And here we are now:

How time flies!  We almost look like grownups!  But not quite.

I just love spending time with these ladies.  They are undoubtedly my Seattle family!  And with graduation quickly approaching – Marisa’s next weekend and mine in a few months – lunch dates like this become even sweeter and more precious than before.

What joy!

This Saturday (as in yesterday) my roomies and I spent the day adventuring together on Whidbey – I promise, there shall be a full recap!  Once I get my photos organized… 😉

Take care!

Blessings

Beth

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Head or Heart

Guess what?  It’s Wednesday!  Do you know what that means?  It’s closer to Saturday!  And do you know what THAT means?  The semester is almost over!!!!!!  Not that I’m excited or anything….

Buckle your seat belts…I’m about to get philosophical 😉

There’s a big difference between knowing something in your head and believing it in your heart.  Belief and faith in Jesus may be the first thing that comes to mind as you think about head vs. heart.  Romans 10:9 says “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NIV)  Sounds easy.  But sometimes there’s a roadblock between our heads and our hearts.  And just to complicate things, this disconnect between head and heart doesn’t occur only in our relationships with Jesus, but in other aspects of life.  However, I have a hunch most of these issues are deeply rooted in our relationship with the Lord.

See, when it comes to Eating Disorders, people can tell me that I’m not fat.  People can tell me I look good, am beautiful, fill-in-the-blank ad nauseum.  And in my mind, I know this to be true.  Someone at my height and my weight can’t be fat.  But my heart doesn’t believe it.  My head knows that eating ___________ won’t make me puff up like a balloon overnight, but my heart is scared that the morning after eating that burger or piece of cake, my jeans won’t fit.

And then, I think through the nitty-gritty facts: how it takes a LOT of calories on top of what I already consume in order to gain one pound.  How that burger or piece of cake physically canNOT cause my jeans to not fit in the morning.  My head knows these things – I can spout off the figures like it’s nobody’s business.  But my heart…my heart just can’t quite grasp it.

So when our hearts can’t see things the way our head does…why does that happen?  Like I said a moment ago, I think there are roots in our relationship with Jesus.  Perhaps it’s not that there’s been a big catastrophe or crisis of faith, but maybe just a subtle lack of belief that the enemy has slid under the door.  Perhaps when our heart and our head don’t agree, what our heart really struggles with is believing that Jesus loves us as much as he says he does.

After all, why would he love me so much?  ED says I’m not good enough, attractive enough, smart enough, thin enough.  And if I’m not good enough, then why would Jesus love me?  But that’s where ED is wrong.  To be blunt, I’m not good enough…on my own.  I’m a sinner, an imperfect human, but Jesus came, and died for us because we’re NOT good enough by our own power.

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  When we were still sinners – when we were not good enough…Christ died for us.  And even though we’re still human and still sinful, Christ has redeemed us and taken the punishment we should have received – because He loves us anyways.

Believing ED’s lies basically throws Jesus’ love for me right back in his face.

Ouch.

How apt and timely that my devotional this morning focused on this scripture:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

In the Bible, Jesus tells us of his love for us over and over.  May this reality be like a mighty river, washing away any roadblock between our heads and our hearts.  May it be enough for our hearts to believe.

Blessings,

 

Beth

 

Tuna Noodle-y Comfort

Well hello!  I hope you all were able to enjoy some fun weekend sun-shiney activities!  There are two weeks left of school…TWO WEEKS!  And then I’m home free.  So.EXCITED!

I’m please to report that cooking and eating dinner with my roomie, Elizabeth is going quite well.  Although we’re starting to plan how we’ll eat well this week without buying too many groceries, and then how we’ll polish off the frozen leftovers…but hey…at least we’ve got choices 🙂

Not all of our meals yield leftovers for the freezer though.  Take this Tuna Noodle Casserole, for example.

Simple, creamy, and healthy…and it was gone in two nights!

I used the classic recipe from Campbell’s – but of course, I HAD to change it up a bit!

Here’s the recipe, adapted from Campbell’s:

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular 98% Fat Free)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup frozen peas

3 medium mushrooms, chopped

2 cans (about 5 ounces each) tuna, drained (I used one in water and one in oil)

about 2 cups whole wheat egg noodles, cooked and drained

5-7 whole wheat ritz crackers, crushed

1 tablespoon butter, melted

  • Heat the oven to 400°F.  Stir the soup, milk, peas, mushrooms, tuna and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish.  Stir the crushed ritz crackers and butter in a small bowl.
  • Bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Stir then sprinkle with the cracker and butter mixture.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

So tasty!  It reminded me of my childhood when mom would make tuna noodle casserole for dinner on those cold, blustery nights.  Obviously, child-like taste buds would NOT have been okay with the whole wheat noodles, mushrooms, and ritz crackers.  But hey…our tastes grow with us, right?  Right.

Cheap, easy, tasty…sounds like a great dinner to me!

In other news, remember the big news I had for you?  In case anyone has been on the edge of their seat in suspense, here it is: my family and I will be going to the Eating Disorder center at the University of California, San Diego, to participate in a week-long treatment class!  I’ll be writing a full post about it soon soon, but let me just say this: it’s family training with the idea that I can recover at home, in a more natural setting and avoid an in-patient center.  Disclaimer: in-patient centers have their time and place, but my family and I don’t think that now is the time for me.  Anyways, we’ll be flying to San Diego in a couple weeks and I’m SO excited!

Well there ya have it – a tasty recipe and some exciting news!

Happy Monday – have a great week!

Blessings,

Beth

Weekending at its Best

Dare I say…Spring has arrived? *crosses fingers*  Two gorgeous weekends in a row, plus nice days in between…it looks promising!

A couple of posts ago, I told you about Evening, the formal event at my school.  Evening was great, but it basically served as a kick-off to a fun and relaxing weekend.  Photo montage……and go!

Our first (major) stop was Millersylvania State Park.

“Millersylvania State Park is an 842-acre camping park with 3,300 feet of freshwater shoreline on Deep Lake. The park, filled with trails, is abundant in old-growth cedar and fir trees. Millersylvania was constructed almost entirely by hand in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.” (source)


This was our lunch view.

And this was our lunch!

We took pictures of each other taking pictures…

…and drew on our Montana roots to make sure we didn’t get lost on the trail where we saw…

…lovely flowers!  Mom, are these some type of lily?

 

After wandering the trails for a bit, we decided to head back North.  After a quick stop by my apartment, we were off to…

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Tortilla chicken soup and green salad for me,

BBQ chicken wrap for Ron!

I may or may not have stolen fries. 😉

By this time, we were still bursting with energy tired like old people, so we headed for some dessert, then Ron took me back to my apartment.  Oh, and I had homework.  But whatever. 🙂  Any guesses on dessert?

Sunday morning, Ron came bright and early to pick me up to head to church, and then, we were off to the Tulips!  If you’ve never been to the Tulip festival…go.  You won’t regret it!

After a quick stop for lunch (that I forgot to photo), we were off to Roozengaarde, a very popular tulip destination.

The colors and variety are breath taking.  Don’t believe me?  Scroll down.

Aside from the fields, there are decorative gardens.

The obligatory in-the-tulip-row shots…

And don’t forget the daffodils!

Oh, and here’s my favorite tulip variety sign.  Ever.

Apparently there’s a tulip called “Ice Cream”.  Too bad it wasn’t blooming yet!

After wandering the tulips for a while, we decided to make our way back south.  And we were feeling some pizza!

Zeek’s to the rescue!

They have about a million pizza’s to choose from, but we decided to design our own.  Only after munching on some cheesy bread sticks, though.

Salad was involved, but alas.  I forgot to take a picture.  It was tasty, though!  I mean, it doesn’t get much better than greens piled with tomatoes, cashews and gorgonzola!

But the pizza.  Ohhhh man!

Marinara, mozzarella, chicken, tomatoes and basil.  Simple and delicious.  The best!

Any guesses on dessert? 😉

Shocker, I know!

Did you notice: My bad friend, ED, wasn’t invited…and he didn’t show up.  🙂

Well folks, that sums up my weekend!  It was a nice little break before the madness of finals sets in.  By the way, finals are the week after this.  Oy vey!

Coming soon: a recipe or two, another lovely weekend recap, and some big news!

Blessings,

Beth

Perfect Timing…

Well good evening!  Do you like the slight change to the design of the blog?  It was time for a little shake-up 🙂

Speaking of shake-ups…have you ever noticed that after you’ve dealt with something challenging and are starting to come out of it, something happens which tempts you to go back to the habits etc of the initial challenge?  It catches you off guard – you thought you were past this.  You were moving forward, right?  Things were going so well!  And you felt pretty great.

Oh what timing.

So what on earth am I talking about?  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve had some eating disorder struggles recently.  They’re often made worse by stress, and consequently, struggling to eat enough makes stress harder to manage.  It’s really a vicious cycle.

There are less than three weeks left in this semester.  This is SO exciting, yet quite scary – there’s much to be done in the next little chunk of time.  Homework and deadlines tend to hit all at once.  And then, other responsibilities arise.  And then I get tired.  And I want to write blog posts instead of doing homework (oops…) and I want to relax and go to bed and read books for fun.  But homework and responsibilities stare me in the face.

And the stress level begins to rise.

And my tummy doesn’t feel as hungry, and the food I eat doesn’t sit as well.  I feel nauseous or dizzy for a moment.  My shoulders tense up, and I know it’s time to go for a walk…and call my mom 🙂

Oh, and there’s the issue of “Hmmm, I ate very differently this weekend, and I feel kind of chunky right now.”  Or “My tummy is churning, and I just need to eat something gentle.”  Basically, ED tries to barge back in when my stress is high and my defenses are weak.

So I have to double my efforts.  And lean on my support system a little more.  But I also have to listen to my body.  My tummy says “Please be gentle, I’m still getting over my shock” and ED says “Yeah, eat something light…sheesh!”  So I choose to be gentle while still nourishing my body adequately.

And I put my foot down on Satan’s attempts to make everything more difficult.  He certainly knows that by the grace of God, I’ve been more successful with tuning out ED’s nasty voice.  So Satan grabs the megaphone and starts yelling.  When I’m most vulnerable in my stresses, Satan “…tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within.”

BUT.  “Upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin.”

As soon as I call out to my Heavenly Father, he parts the heavens to come rescue me from my enemy (Psalm 18).  As Revelation 12:10 says, “…the accuser of our comrades has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.”

Satan is powerful, but God is more powerful.

And here’s what I say to ED – to the enemy:

“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.”

Genesis 50:20

I don’t know what God is doing, but this I know: He certainly does.

Thanks be to God.

Blessings,

Beth

P.S. More weekend shenanigans coming soon!

 

 

 

Evening – the Event, Not the Time of Day

Hello friends!  Goodness, time flies when you’re a busy college kid.

I don’t know about you, but I had a jam-packed and FUN weekend!  I almost feel like I need a weekend from my weekend, but that’s beside the point.  There is WAY too much to put into one blog post, though, so I’ll start with Friday night.

Every spring, here at Northwest, we have an event called “Evening”.  Basically, think “prom-minus-the-dancing”.  We all dress up, go out to dinner, then meet at a fancy venue where our student committee provides dessert and coffee etc, along with some entertainment.  This year, we heard an improv group…they were alright.  But the real fun of Evening is getting all fancied up and seeing your school friends outside of school.  Are you ready for some pics?  Aaaaaaaand go!

We often go in groups to Evening rather than with one “date”.  My group consisted of (from L to R) Melissa, Marisa and Elizabeth, and….

…Ron, our fearless driver…and my date!

The weather could not have been more perfect!

Ivar’s on the Seattle waterfront was our dinner choice – and a tasty choice it turned out to be!

Oh, and by the way...ED wasn’t invited.  No sir.

Here is my dinner: I started off with a sourdough roll – soft, warm, and basically dinner roll perfection.  And they even gave us SOFT butter!  Next, Ron and I split an appetizer of crab cakes.  They were served with a tangy tomato relish (maybe with balsamic?) and a spicy aioli.  For my entree, I had grilled lingcod with  fresh asparagus and VERY garlicky yukon gold potatoes.  My tummy was full, but it all tasted super good!

 

A sunset of dreams.

And lovely, squinty eyes. 🙂  We were probably laughing.

Evening took place at the Experience Music Project (EMP) at the Seattle Center.  And I can’t go to the Seattle Center without snapping a shot of our dear Space Needle!

The EMP is an interactive museum, mostly of the history of Rock n’ Roll.  This tower-like structure of guitars is one of the most popular highlights.

Here is the “interactive” part of the EMP at its finest!  There are several rooms in which to “jam”…they have some combo of drums, guitar, bass and keyboard.  We like to pretend we’re rock stars, obviously!

As this year’s Yearbook Editor, Marisa had to give a short speech – an introduction to the yearbook, basically.  She rocked it!

Melissa threw caution to the wind and volunteered to be part of the improv show – she succeeded in entertaining us!

Here’s me with the date!

And just in case you ever wondered, me and Beyonce (also known as Michelle) frequently sit together in chapel and make music jokes.  Uh-huh!  And she’s pretty stinkin’ awesome!

All of the roomies – together in our finery!  I simply adore each of these girls.  They are all beautiful (beautiful) gifts from God, willing to help me as they can on my journey, because they love.  Ohhhh I love these girls!

Stay tuned for the rest of my weekend!  It was jam-packed, let me tell ya!

Blessings,

Beth

A Lovely Easter Weekend

I hope you all had a great Easter, filled with sunshine, loved ones, and the Joy of our risen Savior!  I certainly did 🙂

My Easter loveliness wasn’t limited to Sunday – nope, it began on Saturday with a trip to meet my roommate’s (Nikki) grandma.  The day could not have been better for a drive – warm, soft breeze and SUNSHINE!! 

We were treated to this breathtaking view.  I mean!  And check out the PERFECT placement of that little tuft of cloud on top.

But the main event – the thing we were most excited for – was meeting Nikki’s grandma, most commonly known as Lightbulb.

And you can see where she gets the nickname!  This woman just sparkles!  She is so full of joy and happiness – I found myself just smiling the whole time I was with her.  She has so many stories, ranging from growing up on a farm in Montana and learning how to track animals to surviving the Great Depression.  Talking about enriching conversation!  Oh, and she thoroughly enjoyed the green tea frape and cake pop we brought her.  Yes, she is that hip.

After our wonderful visit, we headed to Nikki’s house to have a delicious dinner (courtesy of her sweet mom) and watch the movie, “One Fine Day”.

I was too busy having fun to remember to snap a shot of dinner, but here’s the picture from the Taste of Home website!

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Let me tell ya…these were SO tasty!  Rich, slightly spicy, soft…basically, comfort food wrapped up in a neat little tortilla package.  And what college kid doesn’t like a home cooked meal?  Yeah, I don’t know either.  Thank you, Debbie and Rick!!

And then came Sunday.

It was the perfect sun-shiney weather that we always hope for on Easter.

First up, church!  The stage was set for a string ensemble, and was complete with a Cross.

After the service, it was time to head to Marisa’s house for Easter dinner – and some serious traditions.

The table was beautifully set.

Each place setting held a festive napkin and a special Easter Petit Four.

And Joce kept busy in the kitchen!  Let me just say…this lady knows how to cook. 🙂

What do we do while waiting for dinner time?  Take pictures, of course!

A lovely bunch of ladies, wouldn’t you say?

Need I say more?  Didn’t think so.

And then…the dinner bell sounded.  Or maybe my tummy just grumbled loudly.  At any rate, the time for food had arrived!

Asparagus, yams, green been casserole, ham, rolls, and the scalloped potatoes were on there way….

And naturally, I had salad!

Oh, and then there was dessert.

Are you drooling?  ‘Cause this molten chocolate cake could make anyone drool!  Fresh from the oven, these cute little cakes are slightly crispy on the outside but warm and gooey on the inside.  Strawberries (or any berry) makes the perfect accompaniment, especially with a dollop of whipped cream.  So.GOOD!

I also tasted the strawberry shortcake, which was the perfect blend of sweet and buttery.

And who says we’re too old for jello eggs?  Not I!

You know what else we’re not too old for?

Microwaving peeps.  And peep jousting.  Traditioooonnnnn, tradition! ……TRADITION!  Sorry…Fiddler on the Roof moment…. 😀

We were like children, watching, waiting to see who’s peep would poke the other first.  Laugh, but don’t judge – it’s Easter tradition!

I ended my day at Marisa’s with our other tradition – playing “The Phantom of the Opera” on piano while the other ladies sing…which I don’t have a photo of.  But believe me, it happened, and it was joyful!

With all that delicious food, you might be wondering how everything went from an Eating Disorder perspective.  Check back soon for how I coped with a weekend of delicious (but challenging) eats!

And to close, let this, the Joy of Easter, lift your spirits on this Monday!

Christ is risen from the dead

trampling over death by death

Come awake come awake!

Come and rise up from the grave!

Blessings,

Beth