*Plops down and begins to ramble on endlessly about changes, new things, food, and Taylor Swift*
Well, I have neglected you Julie. (In case you forgot, like I did, Julie is the blog’s name. I had to go back and remind myself what I re-named her.) But… in my defense I did move to a new state, live in a new apartment, have a new job, and am eating a new diet. I gave you a pretty make-over! That counts for something right? Okay good. I’m glad we settled that!
In case you haven’t heard, I moved! I was living in Slidell and had been a social work case manager for a year. God definitely used me, I learned so much and grew as a professional and a person. Everything just sort of perfectly (and divinely) fell in to place for the new job. I am now a Resident Director at my Alma mater. Which means I’m the “grown-up” that lives in a female residence hall at Mississippi College. There are a lot more details about the job I could bore you with, but that’s the jest.
Moving was a roller coaster of crazy! I love love love my church and the family I’ve made in Slidell. It was impossibly hard to leave, but God continuously affirmed that this was where he was leading, and continues to do so every passing day. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this one song on Taylor Swift’s newest cd’s and just cried my eyes out! I even had to pull the car over a few times. I am an expert crier. The song is called Long Live. She wrote it to her band about the night they won several awards at one of those award shows. It captures the perfect sentiment of how I feel about my time in Slidell and just the journey of life and faith in general.
“And you take a moment… Promise me this: That you’ll stand by me forever. But if God forbid fate should step in and force us into a goodbye, if you have children someday, when they point to the pictures, please tell them my name… Long live the walls we crashed through. All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you. I was screaming, ‘long live all the magic we made.’ Long live all the mountains we moved. I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you. I was screaming, ‘long live the look on your face.'”
Of course I haven’t said “goodbye” to any of them, but it’s a change. I’m probably not the best person when it comes to change. But not all change is bad. Not every move is goodbye. Looking back over the last four years of my life that the body of Christ at Northshore Church invested in and became such a huge part of, I can’t help but to remember it all with such joy! I see the “walls we crashed through.” I see how the “Kingdom (big K of God’s kingdom as opposed to the little k in the song) lights shined on us.” I see “the mountains GOD moved.” I did have the “time of my life fighting dragons with you.” Okay so not literal dragons. But the struggles of life! And the fun times of life. They aren’t over either, just further away. Family is forever. All of life is like this! Being back on a college campus, I can’t help but think of the time I was here with my friends (who are still my best friends!). We too had the time of our lives “fighting dragons” together. We continue to do so every time we reunite. Life is a big, on-going book.
The beginning of the song also says, “it was the end of the decade, but the start of an age.” It was the end of December when I moved, the end of 2010. My new job started on January 3rd, the beginning of 2011. I got so excited as I thought about using that as my “I moved” blog title, thinking it was so relevant and perfect. Then I realized 2010 was not the end of a decade. Duh. I decided to use it anyway in honor of one of my many “oh.. wait” moments. There are no ends though. Just new chapters in the book of life, which luckily is not over yet. Former chapters can always be revisited (and will be in a couple weekends!).
So I’m here, in Clinton, Mississippi at the best college ever! I LOVE my job. I studied women’s ministry at seminary. How perfect is it that I get to live in an all girl residence hall at a college?! I have a nice little kitchen too! I get to cook and bake for people often. I get to invest in the lives of girls. It’s just great. I’ve gotten gas in car once since I’ve moved here! AND my apartment is really cute! Soon I’m going to buy a camera (mine has been broken for a couple years) so I can take pictures of the apartment and my food.
Speaking of food… I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago. One of the wellness benefits of working here is that every two years they will pay for you to do Weight Watchers at Work if you want. There was no way I was passing up that opportunity. In two weeks I’ve lost 7 lbs! I’m actually really enjoying it. The tracking feeds my obsession with organizing nicely. So my recipes will likely all be Weight Watcher friendly now :). It’s a trial and error process as I try new recipes and tweak things. I do have a recipe for you today though! It’s a dessert of course. My weakness will always be sweets. I love baking for others and inevitably when you bake for others you eat some too! I decided to try a Weight Watcher muffin/cupcake recipe I found. They are 5 points for a normal size muffin or 2 points for a mini. Which is really good considering a small piece of cake with icing is 14 points! In case you aren’t familiar with Weight Watchers, based on your height, weight, gender, and age you are a assigned a daily points value. You can eat whatever you want as long as you have the points for it. So obviously you aren’t going to waste half of your points for the entire day on one piece of cake. But don’t get scared! All fruits and most veggies are zero points. It’s such a doable “diet” that doesn’t feel like a diet at all. No starving!
1 box of Spice Cake mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 box of any kind of Chocolate Cake mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
Mix. Fill cupcake liners. Bake as directed on box. THAT’S IT! Did I mention how easy they were? The chocolate ones don’t taste like pumpkin at all and the pumpkin ones taste perfectly warm and cozy spicy and pumpkiny. I dusted the chocolate ones with powdered sugar and the pumpkin ones with cinnamon sugar. I tested them on my Resident Assistants today and they loved them too. You really can’t tell they are way less fat and calories. Just make sure you let them cool completely before dusting them and storing them. Mine got sticky. Yummy, but sticky.
If you are looking for low-fat recipes I HIGHLY recommend the blog http://www.skinnytaste.com/. I’m loving this blog right now and intend to try out so many of the recipes. She posts the Weight Watchers point values and nutrition information with each recipe.
In other exciting news, my blog is going to be listed on http://foodieblogroll.com/! I’m really excited. It’s basically a database for all people who have blogs about food. It will maybe give me some publicity and other neat opportunities. Plus it’s a cool community of fellow cooks, bakers, and foodies.
Last thing! I am also blogging at bloggingSHE.com. I am a member of a team called SHE, which stands for Sending Her Equipped. We do quarterly women’s events that are just great! They each have a SHE acronym (Scaling Her Everest, Shedding Her Excuses, Shaping her Expectations, Strengthening Her Endurance, etc.). We are trying to build a SHE community and the blog is really good! Several of our teachers (including me) blog for the site. Check it out if you have time.
I promise to blog more! Or I promise to try. I made one New Year’s Resolution. It was to paint more. As I was packing to move I realized I hadn’t painted anything in the entire year of 2010. I think I want to change it to create more! Paint more, write more, cook more, create more.