Paula Deen! Oh how I love Paula Deen! Just listening to her explain one of her delicious, Southern recipes makes me hungry. "Hey Y'all! I've got something I'm gonna cook up today that y'all will just love!" Every time I hear her say "butter" or "sugar", I want to go into the kitchen and cook something yummy! And you will never watch one of her shows where butter and sugar are not used as ingredients! There is no low fat, low calorie or fat free vocabulary on her cooking show. Just as her recipes ooze with Southern charm so does she! My husband just told me the other day that before I chose a cruise for my 30th birthday, he had decided to take me to Paula Deen's restaurant in Savannah, GA called "Lady and Sons." This is no lie, I actually felt disappointed for a moment that I was going on a cruise instead of flying to Savannah! But someday, I will go and eat some delicious Okra and Tomatoes! Not only is Paula a great cook but she is an amazing woman with such zeal for life. I hope someday when I am 59 years old that I have as much fun in life as she does. Just listening to her and seeing her bright, contagious smile gets me excited but even more, it makes me want to cook! "Hey Y'all!"
Yesterday afternoon I began cooking for dinner and decided that I would surprise my husband with desert!So I pulled out my Paula Deen cookbook and made a Fudge Pie. It was delicious especially with a heaping of Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream! Every thing is better with Blue Bell, Right?! As I skimmed the pages of Lady and Sons cookbook, I got very hungry! My mouth was craving fried chicken, biscuits, Texas Sheet Cake and so much more! Just reading her cookbook or watching Paula on her cooking shows gets me in the mood to cook and cook good!
There have been many women in my life that have had something to do with who I am today. Some have taught me to cook, some have taught me to laugh, some have taught me to cry. Some have taught me how to be a wife and mom, while others have taught me how to be a Godly woman. These women haven given me something just by spending time with them. By going to their homes, by meeting them for lunch, by talking on the phone, I have learned by example. Just as Paula Deen gives me the desire to cook, my girlfriends give me the desire to keep a better house, have a better attitude or make a adjustments to my parenting. These women get me in the mood to change!
When Josiah was first born there was a precious girl in my life that was younger than me. However, she was a mom before me so she knew stuff I did not. She also had a very calm and peaceful spirit. This young girl took care of her home in a way I had never seen. She read her bible, cooked, cleaned and spent time with her son. Whenever I left her house, I felt inspired. Just being with her made me want to go home and get my house clean, take care of my baby, cook, clean and spend time with the Lord. There was something so simple about her yet so incredible at the same time. Her home was her delight and just by being with her, I knew that. Even today, I think about her and the things she taught me. She got me in the mood to be the heart of my home!
And then came Ava Beth, twenty three months after Josiah. I once heard Bill Cosby say, "You're not really a parent until you have two children." While having one child at the time of hearing this statement, I felt discounted. Going from no child to one child is huge! But then came my little Ava Beth! NOW I 100% agree with Bill Cosby! I just keep reminding myself that one day when I have my 3rd baby that I will think having two was a piece of cake. But until then, I think it's hard! Thank the Lord for friends in my life that already had two kids that were close in age like mine. When I brought Ava Beth home from the hospital I really felt like I would never leave the house again. But I like to conquer those types of feelings! So, when Ava Beth was two weeks old I took her and Josiah to the grocery store. She slept the whole time so it wasn't too bad. But, I would not have been able to do that if it weren't for a friend in my life telling me,"You can do this! Just go on short trips to the grocery store with the kids and in no time you will be back on the go." So, I did! And since then I have never been a stay at home Mom. I am a stay at home that never stays home! As much as I hate shopping with my kids, I have to do it sometimes. As much as I hate taking my kids with me to get my hair highlighted, I have had to do it. Never again though! (right Mom!?) I am an on the go type of gal and I don't function well by being at home all the time. God knew that! So he surrounded me with other moms on the go! A few days ago I met my friend Courtney (one of the encouraging moms I am referring to) at Grapevine Mills Mall. Trying to shop, push a tandem stroller and try on clothes was quite the chore. But something about shopping with Courtney keeps me calm. I stress out, growl and then look over at Courtney with her two little girls and she has it under control. And yesterday while on the phone with Courtney, I was trying to fix lunch. All of the sudden, Josiah says "Mommy, I want Cheeseballs for lunch today!" And my sweet friend Courtney says, "Let him have cheeseballs. It's okay. Some battles are not worth fighting." Just being around Courtney makes me calm! She gets me in the mood to not sweat the small stuff with my kids. As mothers we all need someone like that in our life!
Now I do not consider myself to be a domestic goddess, but I do like order in my house. I am guilty of having clean clothes on my couch for a few days that I have not put up. This drives me husband crazy. Also, my side if the bathroom is always cluttered as well as my side of the closet. My husband hates this too! But, I do like to keep a clean house. I do pick up toys and the toys do have a place. For the most part, my home is organized and my meals are planned each week. I am not perfect but I do have a system that works and I learned it from many other moms. But the greatest compliment came the other day from my best friend. While talking with her on the phone she told me that after being at my house, she was in the mood to clean her house. She said my house was so neat and clean that it got her in the mood to do the same. Wow! I felt honored! I actually got someone in the mood to clean!
And that's what it's all about ladies! We must surround ourselves with those that will make us better. A new mom needs a seasoned Mom. A new wife needs an old wife. A disorganized person needs an organized person. An easily stress out woman like myself needs a calm woman (thank you Courtney!). A cook needs a Paula Deen! A woman struggling to be a Godly woman, needs a woman that chases after God. As I think about these precious women in my life, I think about how much I desire to be someone who other women need. As I learn from you, may you learn from me.