Monday, January 31, 2011

goodbye gluten

well, folks, I've made the decision to stop eating all the foods I love. I am going gluten-free. ugh.

I've been reading for years about the possible benefits of a gluten-free diet, but we switched to a whole wheat diet 6 years ago and it's been treating us really well. why would I want to change that? besides, I get to eat everything I like (bread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, chips, pretzels, etc), I just trade it in for the whole wheat version. but gluten-free is a whole new ballgame. now I have to eat the rice version of everything, and it is NOT just as good.

today is just day 4, so I can't report any great effects yet. in fact, I really don't expect any significant effects (other than withdrawal) because I'm not switching due to a wheat/gluten allergy. it's not like I've been getting sick eating wheat, so now that I'm not eating wheat, I won't be sick. it's just that I have this pesky disease named endometriosis, and I've read that gluten may be contributing to it. I am also cutting out fatty meat treated with hormones. [fortunately I don't have to give up red meat all together because a friend of ours is giving us some venison, and as far as I know that deer probably wasn't given any hormones, and most deer (especially here in oklahoma) aren't fat. so yay!] caffeine intake really isn't a huge concern for me, but I'm going to cut back my 1 cup of coffee a day down to one or two a week. (baby steps, I know) of course, sugar has always been an issue, so I'm going to work harder on cutting that out. I don't eat many processed or fried foods, so that's not really an issue, but if the opportunity arises, I will just say no.

Dairy is another main concern. all the experts say to cut it out. but I don't want to. I love my milk & cheese! we buy our milk at braum's and they claim no hormones are used, so that can't be that bad, right? Of course though, I just read this sentence on an endo website: "dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses." dangit!

my overall expectation of these dietary changes is: that they are going to suck. but fortunately my husband has been very supportive. primarily because this means we are going to (have to) eat much more asian food (and he LOVES asian food.) we went to a gigantic asian market and the health foods store in oklahoma city saturday and stocked up on everything rice-related... rice noodles, rice flour, rice "spaghetti," and... rice.

here is what I will be trying to survive on for the next who-knows-how-many-weeks/months/years.

Monday, January 17, 2011

a radical review

My scheduled reading topic for this month, church history, has suffered because I got distracted by Radical by David Platt. I really enjoyed this book even though I often caught myself thinking that most of it didn't apply to me since my husband (and therefore, me) is in the fulltime ministry, and surely the author is just talking to lay people (those not in fulltime, professional ministry.) ha! I need some radical in my life just as much as everyone else.

So while it is fresh in my mind (I just finished the book this morning) I thought I would go ahead and give a brief synopsis of the book and highlight a few sections that jumped out at me. Keep in mind that I am not an expert book reviewer, in fact I don't think I really even know how to write a book review (and apparently my grammar ain't too good either.) but I liked this book and I'm going to tell you why.

The first thing I liked was that he talked about the difference between the american dream and biblical christianity. The american dream is about big, comfortable houses, cars, bank accounts, self-reliance, surrounding ourselves with people who like us and creating the perfect family; whereas christianity is about being uncomfortable, putting ourselves in (possibly) dangerous situations, abandoning everything we've earned for the sake of christ, choosing jesus even if it means offending coworkers, friends, family, and realizing how dependent we actually are. another aspect is realizing that christianity isn't an american religion. so he didn't really talk about this too much, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and it extends beyond the american flag in the sanctuary. but, I need to stay on topic.

he also talks a lot about making disciples. while one (me) can read this and get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done (1.5 billion people in the world have never heard about jesus!), we realize we can't do it all or alone, we need to follow jesus' example and make disciples. this is one area where enabling is encouraged! now I admit (like it is mentioned in the book) I don't fully understand what it means to make a disciple. but I do understand this, "love them, serve them, and lead them. lead them to follow me, and lead them to lead others to follow me." multiplication of leaders & followers!

The rest of the book is much of a challenge. A radical challenge. (I think that word was used 50 times.) There are stories of others who have done it. And you can do it too. You don't have to sell everything you own and move to the sudan, but you could sell your ipad and give the money to world vision. (just a little suggestion) I have a LONG way to go in this area. My life is very comfortable. we are not wealthy by any means, but I'm never worried that we might not eat tomorrow. what are our goals in life? does it matter that we have two new cars when billions of people die & go to hell because no one told them about jesus? if anything, I hope this book opens up our eyes a little. our lives and perspectives are much too small. (and I hope this little review doesn't turn you away from the book.)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I figured I should document this since it might not happen again this year. We did get a little bit of "snow" the other day. Of course it hardly seemed like real snow at all, it was more of just a dusting. But... it was white and it was falling from the sky, so I suppose it counts.


table in backyard

another backyard shot

front yard/street view

and where were the kitties during this? snug as bugs in their little bitty bed. together!

Monday, January 10, 2011

we went to austin

Hey y'all, we went down to austin! I'm kidding, they don't talk like that. well, actually, maybe they do.

anyway, we decided to take a little trip south to see the home of OU's biggest football rival. (well, until this year when texas was awful! ha!) yes, I realize there is more to austin than just the longhorns, just as there is more to norman than the sooners (but not much.)

we loved austin. it was the first time there for both of us and we were really impressed. first of all, austin has an awesome downtown scene. the last place I had been that had a downtown like that was nashville or kansas city, and I think this one had them both beat (maybe.) there were streets lined with restaurants, bars, night clubs, taco trucks, live music, outdoor seating, whole foods, ice cream shops, boutiques, antique stores, and more!

on the way down, we stopped at ikea in round rock. at first, bobby thought it was a smaller store because it was only one story, unlike the one near pittsburgh, and so of course, I had to say, "everything is smaller in texas!" (go ahead and roll your eyes.) but then we walked and walked and walked, and realized it was larger than any ikea we had been to (of course.) we only bought a couple small things. everything else we wanted wouldn't fit in our car.

Friday night we headed downtown to the whole foods market where we were blown away. the store was HUGE! it was like a whole foods mega(lo) mart! aisles and aisles of health products, wine, produce, fresh seafood, bulk foods, and a gigantic walk-in beer cooler. we're not in oklahoma anymore! there was also a large eat-in cafe and an outdoor ice skating rink.

after we picked up our jaws from the whole foods experience, we went to eat at green mesquite. bobby found it on the triple D website. if guy's been there, we go there.

bobby had a pulled pork & sausage po-boy, I had a grilled chicken sandwich, and we split a delicious order of fries. they were like fair fries. sooo good!

after eating, we went to book people - which is a two story book store downtown. we definitely recommend it.

then we walked several blocks over to see the nightlife on 4th & 6th streets. like I said earlier, we were really impressed. you gotta go see it for yourself.

saturday we slept in and missed the hotel breakfast, so we walked a few blocks to IHOP and ate their delicious whole grain & nut pancakes with a mix of sugar-free syrup and hot maple syrup. yum! then we drove north to a new shopping area and I got to introduce bobby to the wonderment that is sam moon. :) we also shopped at marshall's where I finally got myself a big purse (for $16, nonetheless), another natural foods grocery store, a fancy furniture consignment store, and a couple other places.

we then headed downtown again and visited the capitol building and grounds, drove around campus, and took a few racy photographs (see below.)

the capitol building

the rotunda at the capitol

a long hallway of doors at the capitol

me at the capitol

bobby at the capitol

george w bush at the capitol

and LBJ at the capitol

the UT campus

UT football stadium (boo)

and now the fun photos... some of you may not know (and I don't blame you at all!) that UT's mascot is a longhorn named Bevo and they have several statues of him around town & campus. one of our goals for the weekend was to get a photo with Bevo, proving that he is indeed an OU fan and not a Texas fan. Here's the proof:

we are so funny, I know.

finally, we had dinner at chuy's where they were having an elvis birthday bash (who would have thought?!? - apparently if we had read their wikipedia entry, we would have known. oh well.) and had the most amazing ice cream EVER at amy's.

one bad picture of chuy's and two good ones of amy's

we were so wonderfully full, that we just went back to the hotel room and watched the colts/jets football game until we went to sleep.

we had planned on going to church the next morning in austin, where our friend is the pastor, and do a a little more sight-seeing (and eating,) but I checked the weather forecast and a winter storm was supposed to hit dallas and south OK sunday afternoon. (it was originally forecasted for monday.) so we decided to get up early and leave as soon as possible sunday morning.

fortunately the first 3 hours of our trip we drove through only rain. it was a LOT of rain, but the temperature stayed above freezing. until... just north of dallas, before gainsville, it started to snow! and it was beautiful!

however, everyone that was driving seemed to panic and we passed over 40 cars that slid off the road. it was nonsense!! why, stupid people (not you), do you do that?! there was no reason at all. the roads were not slippery, and they were certainly not frozen. it was just like they said, "oh no! it's snowing! I can't drive in snow. I must slam on my brakes and force my car to spin out of control and steer off the side of the road into the ditch. I have to. that's what texans & oklahomans do. I must live up to my stereotype!"

at no surprise to us, we arrived safely at home, and to zero snow. it's in the forecast for this week though, so we will see. and we will stay away from the bad drivers!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2011: the year of the book worm

I have never been a big reader. My family never sat around reading for pleasure. Maybe some magazines and/or newspapers here and there, but you would never find us all in the same room, with our noses buried in a book unless we had to (school, work, etc.) It has taken a lot of effort for me to really get interested in reading. I'm also not a fast reader so I usually have to read things several times to really get it, and since that takes a long time, I usually just give up. Given that background information, you can imagine what a culture shock it was for me to marry someone like Bobby who read entire editions of encyclopedias for fun in the summer as a kid. He also is in his third graduate degree, so you can probably only imagine how many books he owns and has read. He recently compiled a 2010 reading list and there were 42 books, 4 magazines, several blogs, and 5+ essays on that list. So yeah, he's sort of a reader.

Well, I have decided (resoluted. whatever.) to come up with a reading plan for this year. I picked 12 topics that I want to study and Bobby helped me find a book for each. In addition, I have some fiction books (chronicles of narnia), through-the-bible-in-a-year, and other general reading materials that don't necessarily fit into a category (radical, crazy love).

I have not yet determined which topic will go in which months, but I do know that January is church history month! (surprised that bobby picked that for me?) I have just barely begun reading the scandal of the evangelical mind. for most months, I'm also going to try to read other (smaller) materials, listen to applicable pod casts, sermons, maybe even songs, prayers, and scriptures. But for this month, I have my own live-in church historian, so I should be all set!