Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hit Me Baby One More Time!

Guess where I will be tonight at 8:00 p.m.??? At the American Airlines Center for....

To say I'm excited is an understatement!! I'm even more excited that I am going for free and get to be in a box suite. I'm not a big fan of going to concerts because I don't enjoy the whole standing up to try to see the stage, etc. Really, I don't enjoy standing in any type of stadium whatsoever (which is why I only went to half of 3 Aggie games in my entire Aggie career). I'd rather be front and center, cheerleading...but those days are gone. What can I say? I'm a girl who needs the spotlight!! But tonight it's ALL about Britney's big come back!! You go girl!

Okay, now it's time for me to stop blogging (I've pretty much been reading blogs all morning)!! Madeline, Kosmo, and I are going to go run some errands and then do some yard work and then....get all dressed up for Britney! I'm going to be wearing my Britney-licious extensions and maybe even a circus conducter costume, who knows?? (ok, I'm joking about the costume).

Just Call Me Mrs. Schultz

I just have to share the story of the AWESOME thing that happened to us Saturday night...

Michael and I LOVE date night and it was set for Saturday, so here's how it was going to go down:
5:00 p.m. - Church (we wanted to sit with our home group at this service)
7:50 p.m. - Studio Movie Grill (we had free tickets) to see Duplicity, have dinner and drinks

Here's how it went down:
4:58 p.m. - Get to The Village Church (yes, we were sort of late because of me), see the sign at the entrance of the parking lot that says "Service is Full".
5:03 p.m. - I sit silent in the car trying to avoid Michael as much as possible so I am not on the receiving end of his wrath because we didn't make it to church.
5:05 p.m. - Me: "What do you want to do, babe? We can just go to dinner around here and then back to church at 7:00 p.m."
Michael: "No, its ok, I know this is just one of the frustrating things about going to the awesome church that we do. I was really looking forward to our date. Let's just check movie times." (no wrath - yes!!!)
5:08 p.m. - We head to Frisco to Stonebriar Centre to see Duplicity. It starts in 15 minutes.

5:22 p.m. - We try to use coupons to pay for Duplicity and they say they cannot take our coupon for the "special event that is Duplicity". Great! I hate paying for movies if you cannot tell!
5:25 p.m. - I want popcorn. We try to decide: Should we get Diet Coke or Coke to go with it?? Diet Coke has formaldehyde a.k.a. aspartame and Coke has high fructose corn syrup. See our artificial sweetener post if you are lost. Well, both are pretty bad, so we go for the coke. Yes, yes, I know, they do sell water bottles at the movie theatre, but like I said in my sweetener post - we're not turning into health nuts! Just trying a little harder to not put processed and chemical stuff in our bodies (date night doesn't count!!)...
7:55 p.m. - The movie is over. I hate it. After complaining about what a let down it was, Michael finally agrees it was a worthless, horrible waste of time and money. (It was supposed to be a twisty turny, action, romance - how can you beat that for date night?? Well, it was not good.)
8:00 p.m. - We are realizing date night is not as magical tonight as it usually is and things just really aren't going our way. Not able to decide on a restaurant, we just go to Cheesecake Factory in the mall.

8:02 p.m. - We walk into Cheesecake Factory and it is a ZOO!! (I thought everyone in Frisco had kids and didn't stay out so late?!?!) I tell Michael if the wait is over an hour, we are leaving. The wait is 70 minutes.
8:03 p.m. - Mrs. Schultz walks up to me and says "My husband and I have been waiting for about 50 minutes, but our movie is starting now, so we are about to leave. Do you want our buzzer??"
8:04 p.m. - I am shell shocked! This makes up for everything that didn't go our way tonight!! This is the best!!!!!!!!! I've never had this happen to me before and especially not at such perfect timing!
8:05 p.m. - I ask Mrs. Schultz "what movie are you going to see?" (trying to make sure she is not seeing Duplicity; she said "I Love You, Man"; I said "Yeah, that's the one we should have seen - we saw Duplicity and it was no good. Have fun and thank you SOOOO much - you're the best!!!!"
8:06 p.m. - Mr. and Mrs. Schultz are about our age and are on their date night and are so adorable. We shouldn't have let them walk away so quickly, we would have loved to have dinner with them!
8:10 p.m. - Michael orders drinks at the bar - a Mojito for me and Vodka tonic for him....BUT, I get carded....AND, I'm not carrying my purse. Booo!! So sweet Michael walks all the way to our car parked at Sears to get my ID, but he cannot find it, so he is forced to carry my huge, fake Louis Vitton purse into the mall with him (he is mortified), but I find my ID and we are in business! (Sorry Michael!)
8:15 p.m. - I walk up to the hostess stand to ask how much longer until we get seated. The hostess says "What's your name?". I say "Mrs. Schultz". The hostess says "We'll be seating you shortly in the next few minutes". YES!!!!
8:20 p.m. - We get seated. THANK YOU MR.& MRS. SCHULTZ!!!!!
Dinner was awesome! We shared the Chicken Madeira and got cheesecake to go! What a great date night!!! Did I mention I had 3 mojitos!?!?! YUM!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Growing Boy!

Oh my Baby Boy Kosmo - how I truly love thee!!! He is the biggest sweetheart in the world!!! He is so super loving to his mommy and he makes me really want to have boys...especially a momma's boy!

When I get home from work, I yell "couch time" and the dogs get so excited...they follow me to the couch and then jump on me and give me big hugs!! Kosmo does what I like to call the two jump pounce hug. As I'm sitting down, he jumps on the couch, and then does another BIG jump and makes it to me. He puts his little paws around my neck and gives me a real hug. It's the most precious thing!!

Here are some pictures of my precious growing boy!!

We adopted him at 12 weeks and he has been our baby for 7 months now and he is one of the best things that's ever happened to the Pennington household! We are HUGE fans of owning TWO dogs. It made such a difference for Madeline when we adopted her brother. She (and we) are much happier now. Everything is better from walks to cuddly naptimes to ball throwing/fetching to bone chewing to treat time...you get the picture.

His first birthday is coming up on May 15th and in preparation for him becoming a "big boy", we are switching to adult food this week. Mostly because Madeline is getting fat and needs to be done with puppy food. But we had to keep her on the puppy food because there was no way to regulate the dogs eating two different types of food and it was more important for Kosmo to be on the puppy food.

Not only are we going from puppy to adult food but from free feeding the dogs to only feeding them two meals a day (to help them with weight control). At first, they didn't really understand what was going on and didn't eat their food. After an hour, I put the food up to try to teach them the new drill. Finally, they got hungry enough and figured out that when it's mealtime...it's time to eat! Plus, we have a buzzword for dinner now and they are learning the meaning of it. They are so good at learning their buzzwords and we have signals to go with each buzzword that they know very well too!!
-Drop it
-Give it
-Leave it
-Watch me
-Touchdown (for a high five trick)
-Room (to go in their big gate)
-Bed (to go in their small gate and lay in their beds at night)
-and now: Dinner (to eat their meal)

The only one they are not consistent on is the "off" command....only the most important one!! This is probably my fault (I like picking them up and they will jump on me to get me to hold them - big babies!)...so we have some work to do.

Anyway, back to eating...we are still working on the transition. It hasn't been the smoothest one ever. Kosmo is a much slower eater than Madeline and fatty Madeline will try to eat Kosmo's food when she finishes hers! But to get Kosmo to be more interested in his food, all I have to do is dump the food from the bowl and scatter it on the floor. He is nuts!! You put his food on the floor and all of a sudden his interest level skyrockets!! So crazy!!

Here are some pictures of the dynamic duo that is Madeline and Kosmo:

This is where they hang during the day while I'm at the office 4 days/week:

Big gate with access to the backyard through the doggie door

Nice, quiet place to rest

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wedding Vows and Married Life

We attended the second wedding of the season this past weekend. The wedding of Grant Graham to Britany Eaves in Kingwood, Texas.

Are they not absolutely precious!?!

The Cochran family (my maiden name) goes way back with the Graham family, so it was super special to see Grant get married. We probably don't go back as far as some of the Graham's other friends, like the Terrals, but they were some of our first friends we really bonded with when we moved to College Station in 1991. We became friends with them through our church - Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.

We spent several weekends in the summers with the Grahams and other families from Central Baptist at Lake Belton. We would bring our pop-up camper and boat and it was never ending fun! We also went on a couple of ski trips with them. And two years ago, we went on a cruise to Cozumel.

I cannot even begin to describe my heart's desire in wanting to find that type of relationship with several families at this point in my life. To do life with them and choose to walk with them because of our partnership in the Gospel. What a bond that type of partnership creates! Michael and I are learning how incredibly important it is to be surrounded by a community of believers to walk with for the support and sharpening of our marriage and family and salvation. It's amazing to see some of the incredible relationships that the Graham family has formed over the years. It was so obvious by seeing the faces I saw at their wedding. I hope to do the exact same thing.

Also, the weddings Michael and I have attended recently have been such incredible reminders of where we were almost 2 years ago...on our wedding day - June 9, 2007.

Not only did we enter into a covenant with each other, but with our God and Savior Jesus Christ. What we are commanded to do in marriage in Ephesians 5:22-32 is much easier said than done.

Wives and Husbands
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

And our vows:
I take you, Michael, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death parts us. This is my solemn vow.

We went with traditional vows because I am a very very traditional woman who loves traditions and formalities. I am an etiquette freak and love formal, traditional ways of doing things. I loved our vows. So solemn and all-encompassing. But the last two weddings had incredible, personal vows. At Chris' wedding, what stood out the most was the part when they vowed:
"To walk through the refining fire of marriage" with their spouse.

Wow! Refining fire it is! You cannot hide in marriage. Getting married is the best way to become sanctified and its T-O-U-G-H!!

When I get weary in my marriage and the sanctification process, this "refining fire" is something I am going to remember. As Michael consistently reminds me - what a glorious day it's going to be when we sit at the banquet table with Christ and He tells us that His work in us is complete and we are at home in heaven. And as my great grandmother used to say (sing with me!) "When we allllll get to heav-en, What a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, We’ll sing and shout the victory! (men in their deep voices: shout the victoryyyyyy!)".

Looking back, I'm sure I was so naive and optimistic and "in love" on my wedding day and now having "lived" marriage for almost 2 years, so much has changed...for the GOOD! I'm probably more of a realist now and have learned a lot (though still not nearly enough) about how to make marriage work and what the vows REALLY mean. Because of this, the vows means SO much more to me now. Also, I've learned so much about what love means. I have really started to grasp what it means that Michael and I are a team. We are in this for life. Why spend one moment not living together as one. I'm learning how to seek peace, fight fair and how to submit. To say Michael and I have grown in love is an understatement. To think of the profound meaningful love we have for each other now amazes me, and I just have to think I'm going to be so much more amazed after 10 and then 20 and then 30 years! I cannot wait!!

My wedding day was definitely one of the best days of my life but even better are the days when Michael and I overcome something in our marriage that makes our marriage better and us both all the better for it. That is what keeps me going and that is what strengthens our love and our vows.

What a beautiful, Christ honoring wedding it was for Grant and Britany. Thanks for reminding me of the incredible seriousness of the covenant made when you say those vows. Here are a few pictures of my family enjoying their wedding celebration.

My youngest brother Carter and his sweet girlfriend Elyse

My middle brother Kent and his wife Nicki (home safely from Israel!!)

My Mom (Kathryn), Nicki, and Me

Michael was there too!!

Happy House Day!!

We closed on our house one year ago today, so I'm celebrating our house anniversary!

I love our sweet little house. It is so perfect for us (and the puppies)! The great thing is that it's perfect for us right now, and I think it will be 10 years too!

We have had such a fun year making memories in our first house together, during our second year of marriage.

The below picture was taken at Christmastime after we got our brand new roof! (The original roof was badly damaged during a hailstorm/tornado that hit our neighborhood 5 days after we moved in!)

We are going to be working in the yard this weekend (weather permitting) to add some shrubs and flowers. So hopefully I will be able to add some "after" pictures soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pink Enough Now, Amy??

I've been told by my good friend Amy that my blog wasn't pink enough for me.

I'm OBSESSED with the color pink!! And I really couldn't agree more, Amy!

I need more pink in my life...if that's possible!

I think I like this one. It's growing on me, but I will probably keep searching for a really really really pink one....or just make my own! But this will do for now.

Hope you like it!

It's Wine in a Box!

It's wine in a box, yeaahhhh

1 - Buy some wine in a box
2 - Pour that wine from the box
3 - You'll love that wine in a box

That's the way we do it....It's wine in a box!!

I have a new obsession. The wine in a box from Target. And please...don't judge me until you try it.

Here are my reasons for loving my new wine favorite:
1. The cabernet sauvignon and shiraz blend is fabulous!
2. The box costs $16.99 and is equal to 4 bottles of wine! What a deal!
3. The box lasts up to 4 weeks and stays fresh!!
4. The box has a spout - so easy!! Gone are the days of corkscrews, etc.
5. You just put the box on your pantry shelf (unless you like white wine, and then you should store it in the refrigerator) and voila! its easily accessible for daily cooking and drinking!
6. I often cook with red wine (sauteed mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, etc.) and its nice to not have to open an entire bottle of wine if I only need to use 1 cup of red wine.
7. You feel like you have an excuse to have a glass every night because the spout is calling you!

Enjoy!! (and make sure to thank me later!)

P.S. If you are so out of it that you do not know what song I am imitating at the beginning of this post, then please click here!!! And once again, enjoy...and you can thank me later!! (The link is PG-13...or R rated maybe, so don't look at it at work and get the kids out of the room first, but its really not too dirty - its Justin Timberlake on SNL and sooo funny!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest..

Is there anyone out there who has yet to read the Twilight saga?!?!





Ok, I just have to know! I realize there are some crazy people in this world who have not yet read it, but I hope that doesn't include any of my friends.

I cannot tell you how annoyed I am by all the people who have come up to me today and said "I saw the Twilight movie over the weekend!!". They were thinking I would be proud or something!!?? The reason I'm NOT proud is because these are the SAME people that I have been telling for months that they have to drop everything and START READING!! Yet, they have not yet read the books.

Please....I beg of you....if you have NOT read the books yet, which already puts you on my s&*$ list, please do not opt to watch the movie in lieu of reading the books. I BEG OF YOU!!!

The movie doesn't even compare to the books. Its fun to watch the movie once you've read the books, but they simply do not compare. The true enjoyment and love of this story comes from reading the books. They are such an easy read and are truly spellbinding. I have talked over 12 people into reading the books (ages 23 through 60 - whoever started categorizing the books as "teen" or "tween" books is an idiot...this story spans all genders and ages) and they have all thanked me time and time again for encouraging them to read the books!! I'm not kidding you!!

Ok - I'm done with my Twilight rant!

P.S. I'm an Alice - click on this link and tell me who you are!!!!

P.P.S. I apologize for my ubiquitous use of words like "idiot" and "moron" in this and my last post.

Rude Awakening!

I am a freakishly heavy sleeper. I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere, at any time, and sleep very soundly. I mean, the lights can be on, TV or music can be on, people can be talking, etc. An infant that I saw sleeping soundly near the dance floor and DJ at a wedding this past weekend, reminded me of...me!

So, what does it take for me to wake up in the middle of the night when I am sleeping soundly in my super comfy bed??! Pretty much only two things:
1. My dogs making any noise at all (this is where my maternal instincts kick in - I can hear them above any other noise and wake up instantly to make sure they are ok)
2. Someone BANGING on our front door

Yes - someone was BANGING on our front door at 4:00 a.m. this past Friday night. I jumped out of bed and yelled to Michael "Someone is banging on our front door!!! Turn on the lights!!".

I grabbed my cell phone, dialed 9-1-1 and had my finger ready to press send. All the while, Michael was still trying to figure out exactly what happened. Somehow, Michael will wake up at even the slightest noise and get bothered by the TV being on in the bedroom, yet he did not hear this banging!! Crazy!

I ran to the front door, looked out the peephole and saw a woman laying on the ground in the middle of our walkway, and a man standing beside her. So I banged on the door and yelled "WHO IS IT???!?!?!" Hey - it seemed like the best thing to do at the time. I couldn't open the door because I was not fully dressed AND the alarm would have started going off.

Well, no one answered me, so I ran around to the study window to look out to see if I could get a better view. All the while, my finger is still on the send button and Michael is still trying to figure out what is going on and why I am not acting scared, but am wanting to confront the morons banging on our door at 4:00 a.m. This is very unlike me. Typically, when I get scared in the middle of the night, I stay in bed while I make Michael walk around the house carrying a flashlight, checking all the closets and behind all the doors, all the while he's yelling intermittently (at my request) "Everything looks fine...just a couple more rooms to check. It's ok, don't be scared".

Finally, after getting a better view, I realize its the idiots that live across the street!!! We don't like them because one time they were mean to us when we were unloading a u-haul at midnight and barely blocking their driveway. But that is a whole other story!!

They have not lived in the house across the street for very long. They are renting it while the owners are living overseas for a short time. Its a very strange living situation: an older man, his 30-something daughter, her 12 year old son, and the daughter's boyfriend....well, sort of, I think he just spends the night a lot.

From what I can tell looking out the window, the girl is messed up - we're talking drunk, high or something! She is rolling around on the ground outside of our house!! The boyfriend is YELLING at her and trying to get her out of our yard. Apparently, they must have been in a huge fight and she ran to our house to bang on the front door (yeah, that makes sense????). Essentially, its undoubtedly a really bad domestic dispute.

Anyway, not scared at all at this point and wanting to figure out what the heck they are doing BANGING on our door, I yell at Michael to go get dressed and ask these punks what the h*$# is going on while I go turn off the burglar alarm and calm down the dogs.

Michael is STILL utterly confused and moving VERY slowly. By the time he is dressed, I yell at him to run out the door and confront these morons. I realize I should not have been yelling at Michael, but its hard for me to stay calm!!

Well, the girl must have been inside already at that time...and the boyfriend was driving out of the driveway so fast that his tires were screeching as Michael was running outside.

I have a feeling we'll never know what really happened and that totally irks me!! As Michael would imitate me saying like I always do "How rude!!!".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Featured in Health magazine!

Ok, well not really "featured"...but I was quoted! You know, I gotta try to exaggerate a little bit - it's the way I am!

Quoted about what? Sex...orgasms specifically. And I am NOT going to tell you what the quote is on this blog because some of the readers may really NOT want to know. (You know who you are).
*Since I first posted this story, I have had so many curious george's calling me to ask what I said and now I have been talked into posting my quote within the comments section of this post. So go there if you WANT to know what I said. LOL - I have no shame!

Anyway, it's kind of cool. After my quote, it says "Allison, 27 years old, Plano, TX".

But if you want to see it, there's not much time left since the March issue will be replaced with the April issue very soon.

How did such a thing happen to me? (This is the first question I've been getting asked, so I will explain). I get tons of junk mail in my gmail inbox, and I recently got something from Health magazine that listed articles, etc. One of the things listed in the email said "Take our sex quiz!". So of course, I take the quiz! ha! Then, when I was finished with the quiz, there was a question at the end that asked for my name and email address and if the magazine can contact me for further comments...again, I said yes. And one of the writers working on the sex article for the March issue contacted me by email, asked me some questions, and one of my answers to one of the questions actually ended up in the magazine. Crazy!

I have decided after "starring" on The View last May (okay, okay, "being given only one line to say" on The View), I have decided to make it my goal to try to make it in some type of national media each year. Yes, I realize this is a goal only I would make! But heck, I made it on Chelsi's blog yesterday, so maybe I am on my way!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One wedding down...5 more to go!

Well folks, wedding season is truly upon us!

I'm very excited about the fact that I will get to witness the 6 couples whose weddings that I will be attending this spring and summer get hitched! It's a beautiful thing!

This past weekend, we attended the first wedding of the season. Chris Snapp, a childhood friend of Michael's was married to Erika Walter. Chris is Michael's best friend, Mike Snapp's brother.

From left to right: Mike Snapp, Chris Snapp, and Michael (in high school)

Their ceremony was incredibly Christ honoring and beautiful. Not to mention that we had a great time celebrating with a favorite couple of ours who go to our church. We had no idea they would even be there - a nice surprise. They are family friends with Erika - what a small world! Also, I was able to meet several friends of Michael's from his childhood and really enjoyed getting to know everyone.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the event! I will try to take more at the next 5 weddings!

Monday, March 16, 2009

No more artificial sweeteners!?

I'm giving up artificial sweeteners?!!

Ok, the reason there is a question mark behind that sentence is because I've realized how difficult it is to give them up. Not only because they are RAMPANT but because the withdrawal effects are killer. So essentially, I am TRYING to give up artificial sweeteners as much as possible. I started this quest on February 16th.

First, I will tell you what artificial sweeteners I am talking about and then I'll tell you why!

Artificial Sweeteners:
Equal a.k.a. Aspartame, Nutrasweet

Splenda a.k.a. Sucralose

Sweet 'n' Low a.k.a. Sacchrin

Now I am really not a huge health freak by any means and believe that moderation is key for everything including food and alcohol, but I have recently starting having issues with the ridiculousness of the American food industry and the lies that many of us have given into. Some people would argue that its not even food but "food-like" substances that we are eating these days! I love Michael Bleecker's blog post on this and his attempt to better his family's health. I mean, I am sick to death of looking at ANY packaged food and seeing "high fructose corn syrup" on the ingredient list. I'm sick of not being able to pronounce half of the ingredients on the list. I'm mad to hear about how the beef that I love to eat so much is wrought with hormones and is from cows who stand on the pavement all day and are fed corn-based grain diets when God intended cows to be wandering in a field eating GRASS. And America seriously wonders why we are all getting so unhealthy and fat?! It makes absolutely no sense why we wonder why we are fat when its obvious we are being stuffed to the brim with modified corn products, artificial everything, and "food-like" substances that our bodies are unable to digest. Not to mention the fact that many Americans eat dairy at every single meal and I could go on and on about this one from my past "vegan" days.

Here's an example that really irked me: I was sick last week and my doctor told me to eat only bananas, rice, crackers, and applesauce for several days, so I went to buy some crackers. I bought Wheat Thin Multi-grain crackers. Heck, they had that little green "Smart Spot" checkmark/stamp of approval that says "Smart Choices Made Easy"! But even they contained a long list of ingredients that are hard to pronounce and included cornstarch and high fructose corn syrup on the list of ingredients! We are truly being deceived by the American food industry when it comes to listings like "Smart Spot" and "All Natural" and "No Added Sugar" and "Whole Grain".


I wanted the focus of this post to be the artificial sweeteners, but here are some other changes I am going to try to make as well:
-eating only organic "grass-fed" beef with no hormones added (this is tough! even Whole Foods has the tiniest section of this type of beef but its so worth it)
-not eating dairy at every meal
-when I drink milk, to only drink organic, pasteurized milk and NOT homogenized
-eating "cage free" eggs and "free range" chicken without hormones only
-trying to eat some fish from time to time (I hate fish, but will try this and the only fish that are on my list are "wild caught" fish; NO "farmed" fish and no shellfish because they are the trash cans of the sea)
-staying away from artificial sweeteners
-staying away from high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified corn ANYTHING

Obviously, this can't be 100% of the time. I am still going to go out to eat and cannot control everything I eat, but I can make of the change of better grocery shopping and choosing to put things in my body that God intended as much as possible.

Some facts about Aspartame:
Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into natural residual components, including aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol, and further breakdown products including formaldehyde, formic acid, and a diketopiperazine. It can also cause brain damage as well as insulin resistance which could lead to type II diabetes.

Some facts about Splenda:
Bottom line, splenda is made up of a molecule that contains chlorine. When digested, chlorine is cancer causing. Duh! Not to mention the fact that many reports show that Splenda is indigestible and absorbed by fat which increases your fat cells and makes you fatter! I have researched many sources and studies regarding the mal effects of Splenda and the best in my opinion include tuberose.com as well as Dr. Mercola's article.

Facts about Sacchrin:
I didn't even research it since its the most studied and research artificial sweetener of all and we've all heard the bad reports about it for years.

The newcomer - Stevia:
Stevia, also known as Truvia is the new kid on the block as far as artificial sweeteners go. Its supposed to be all natural and is already FDA approved, so I know many people who are switching to Stevia. I just feel like it's got to be in the same ballpark as other artificial sweeteners and that in the future, we'll find out some reason or another it could kill us, so I'm not switching to this one either...just in case anyone was wondering.

There’s overwhelming evidence that consuming artificial sweeteners will likely wreak havoc on your body. Previous news has centered mainly around artificial sweeteners’ ability to impair your appetite regulation and leading to weight gain. In reality, these diet foods and drinks can cause serious distortions in your biochemistry and ruin your body's ability to control calories. As a matter of fact, it’s been shown that diet soft drinks can double your risk of obesity! Nearly a decade ago, studies were already revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

-Stimulate your appetite
-Increase carbohydrate cravings
-Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

No thank you!

So have you decided to stop using artificial sweeteners yet? If so, withdrawal effects are a whole other ballgame and get ready! As far as withdrawal effects go, I think sucralose or "Splenda" causes the worst withdrawal effects. I'm pretty sure of this since sucralose was what I used the most because I had it in my coffee every morning. And my headaches for the first 3 weeks of giving it up were killer! I had to give in several times and have a little Splenda. It was AWFUL! I've never had a migraine, but I imagine it feels similar to how I felt when I was in withdrawal of Splenda. I felt completely incapacitated, couldn't read, think or function normally at all.

So now that I'm eliminating artificial sweeteners, here is the list of things I will stay away from(the crazy thing is that the majority of these foods are those I have taught myself are the "healthy choices" but now I know in truth, they are the most worthless, chemical, processed foods of all):

ANYTHING that says "sugar free" or "reduced sugar" or "low sugar"
Crystal Light
Diet Coke
sugar free yogurts
sugar free ice cream
any "diet" drink

So don't worry, I'm not turning into a huge health nut but I know I can do better for myself and for my family by refusing to give in to the American way of eating. Yes, I have to pay a little more now to get better foods, but I have to wonder - Will it save me big money on doctors and prescriptions in the future??

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big News!!

No...we're not pregnant! ;)

Michael got PROMOTED!! Needless to say, he has a VERY VERY proud wife!

For those of you who don't know, Michael is an investment banker. In these trying financial times and especially in his industry, many of his colleagues don't feel job security or are getting laid off. We are just so in awe of the Lord's provision and thankful for this blessing!

Go Michael!! You deserve it! You are incredibly hard working and wonderful!! What a great provider for our family! LOVE YOU!

Some pics of my hottie hubby:

Wow! He is the hottest and cutest! Love you Babe!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trip to Israel

Kent and Nicki are in Israel! They headed that way last Friday and are getting back on March 18th!

Kent is my brother, and Nicki is his precious wife of almost 3 years now.

They are so adventurous and quite the world travelers! I am in awe of them and some of the places they have been! Of course, I would probably be too scared to take a trip to Israel right now, so to be honest, I've done lots of worrying about them while they are gone. So if you think of it, please lift them up.

Nicki will be graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary in May and had the awesome opportunity to go on the official DTS trip to Israel so she and Kent jumped at the chance.

I can't wait for them to get back and hear all about it!