Friday, March 13, 2009

Q & A: Part 2

Well, I hunkered down and finished the rest of your questions from My 500th Post last night.

Some of your questions were very similar, so I may have combined a question or two in the spirit of simplicity. Brevity, on the other hand - you will not find that here. I tried. Oh, the good Lord knows I tried. But, be warned. You might wanna grab a cup of coffee.

Or a Red Bull.

You just might need it to get through this beast.

So, we continue on from Part 1...

What were some of your life goals before marriage and kids and have any of them continued to be your goals? Have you fulfilled any of them?

I had to really think on this one. Honestly, I don't think I have ever made any "life goals". Probably because I'm not so good at following through with today's agenda, let alone bigger and more significant goals. Further, I find that as soon as I begin to create a path, usually a very easy one with flowers blooming on all sides and no Wicked Witch from the West turning trees into hateful apple throwers, God's plan often takes me in a completely different direction. I often think my lack of "planning" has served me well in adjusting to unexpected change.

But sometimes, I think I am short-sighted, in that I don't plan out my future with grand strokes and certainly not in detail. Fortunately, my husband thinks we should plan financially for the future, lest my short-sightedness land us in retirement with a great looking wardrobe and no savings.

I'd say that I always wanted to get married and have children - but, there was a brief time in my life before college when I wasn't sure I even wanted children. Praise God He's ultimately planned things out, and isn't swayed by the changing desires of this fickle girl.

Since you are such an amazing cook and baker, how do you and Jason stay so thin? Every time I make one of your recipes, my husband always asks me if Jason is thin and then he is curious as to how that happens. Of course, maybe Jason knows about portion control. I think my husband is so shocked when there is something delicious on the table that he cannot help but overeat!

Jason and I would both argue with the statement that we're thin - we wear a little extra here and there (me more than him, for sure); but, for the most part, we're content with that. Jason has far more discipline than I do - but then again, he's not staring at a kitchen full of baked goods all day. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time, or just the last week for that matter, knows that I don't cook "lowfat" food. I don't like substitutes for sugar and butter and cream. I like to cook with traditional, real, Southern-style ingredients - they just taste the best.

However, Jason and I do not eat as much of this kind of food as we'd like. I'll make an entire cake, but we'll have friends over to share it with us. I may make a large pan of Macaroni and Cheese, but 3/4 of it gets divided into mini-tupperware containers and Jason takes them to work for lunches.

Both of us would rather eat a little of absolutely delicious, satisfying, good way down deep in your belly food - than eat a full plate of lowfat/diet/calorie-cutting food that doesn't taste good. It is about portion control for us. We eat the good stuff. Just not as much of it as we'd like.

What is your absolute favorite dinner and favorite dessert (that you make)?

My favorite meal is London Broil, Greek Potatoes, Corn Pudding, and Roasted Asparagus. You can find all of those recipes here. This is the meal I serve most frequently to guests. They go batty over it.


My favorite dessert is Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. LORD HAVE MERCY, this little dessert is just sinfully good. The recipe is here.


What do you like best about being a mom?

I love the laughter, kisses, craziness, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chubby cheeks, baby thighs, toes and ears. I love movie nights, snuggling, singin' kids songs in the car, and bathtime.

Really, I could never choose what I love best. There's just too much goodness wrapped up in the word, "Momma".

What did you do prior to becoming a mom?

Prior to becoming a Mom, I worked for a large insurance/financial services company and did annuity marketing. I loved my job. I wore clothes that got dry cleaned, and bought fancy shoes. I don't miss it now, but I loved it during that season of my life.

Did you always know that "political science" was for you? Cause I think you could have been a writer.

I actually started out as a pre-med major in college. One semester of chemistry and a major butt-kicking by "moles", and I knew it wasn't for me. My sophomore year, I took a Political Science class and loved it. I declared my major and planned to go to law school when I graduated. My Dad was a lawyer, my sister is a lawyer, and I loved writing papers and briefs and I loved learning to argue a point articulately. I scrapped the law school idea when I realized that upon graduation, I could get a real paycheck instead of being broke for the next 3 years. Ahh, the lure of money.

Interestingly, the thing I loved most about political science was the writing. There is very little that is objective about the law; it requires subjective thought, followed by an ability to persuade another of your interpretation. The writer in me loved that part of my major. And, my education trained me to write well.

I also want to know how you think you might feel someday if your children pack up and move far away from you and Jason? (hard question, I know, but wondering if that's ever crossed your mind?)

This question breaks my heart a little. Ok, it downright smashes it to smithereens. I imagine it would be very difficult, as thinking about daily life without them at this point is almost unbearable.

But, my husband and I are raising our boys to leave us and start lives of their own. We are raising them to leave our care and proclaim God's love and grace to a world that desperately needs it. If that journey takes each of them many miles away from us, we pray that our love is engrained on their hearts, and that it brings them home often. Even if they really only come home for the food.

For now, I'd like to keep them here with us - for a few more years.

How do you know how many posts you have? I can't seem to figure that out on my blog.

The number of post is on my sidebar in my archives - otherwise titled, "That's What She Said", my hat tip to The Office. By adding the 2007 posts, the 2008 posts, and the number I've written so far so far in 2009 - you get the total.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I decided to start blogging because I was frequently being asked for my recipes - and I was emailing them to friends and family over and over. I wanted a place to start recording them so that I could refer anyone who wanted one to my blog. I also wanted a place to share our life with our family that lives 700 miles away. I still blog for those reasons, along with many more, but the reasons are always changing and morphing into new ones. I recently wrote more about why I blog here.

What is one talent that you do not have that you wish you did?

Oh, how I wish I could sew. I need someone to give me a challenge, kind of like the pie crust, I guess. I have a sewing machine, and it's in its box in our storage room. I imagine making funky pillows for my living room. And, skirts like Tracy and bags like Leigh Ann and just about everything SouleMama makes. But, I'm scared to even open the box. I'm totally intimidated by all the knobs and the bobbin and all that business. I just don't know where to begin.

What is your secret dream job? This does not have to relate to any particular skill you have. It could just be something that sounds fun to you.

I'd love to be a personal chef - creating delicious meals for a busy family and making their dinner special every night.

You always seem so positive and seem to do everything well when it comes to cooking/baking and parenting. I'd like to know what doesn't come easy to you and/or what you struggle with.

Oh, mercy, I struggle with a lot. But one that affects me and bothers me every single day is that I am the most disorganized person I know. I struggle, struggle, struggle with organization. It doesn't come naturally to me at all. I can buy a bunch of containers - with the hopes that they will solve my disorganizational woes, but they end up filled with the same junk that was on the counter. Only to be rummaged through and the same stuff scattered all over the counter again. Have you ever seen a grown woman pray over plastic bins? Well, I've done it. And, I still struggle.

Will you ever move back home? :-(....missing you all dearly!

This question came from my dear, sweet friend Johanna, and I love her for it. You know, I have days when I'm ready to pack up and move back home. And, I have days when my life here is so fulfilling and wonderful that I can't imagine leaving it. But, our move out here taught me something: "Home" is where my husband and children are.

And, for now, God has led us here to this town in the Midwest - where we are rich in friendship and truly content. But, we miss - oh, how we miss - our friends and family back East.

Do you and Jason have a plan for how many kids you'd like to have?

I know we don't want eighteen, like those dear, sweet Duggars. And, we'd like to keep the three we've got. Frankly, that's about as far as the plan has gotten. We don't really talk about our family long term - meaning, we haven't set up a plan and are trying to fulfill it. We hoped for Jack, our first baby - but other than that, we've just had open conversations about children throughout each changing season and we continue to be open to God's plan for our family.

How many kids were in your family?

Nine. Here are all nine of us - and my Mom and Dad. This picture was taken in 1984. In case you're wondering, I'm the one on the bottom left. Oh, how I loved that dress.

Where are you in the birth order and are you close with your siblings?

I'm number seven. I was always part of "the three little ones", and always wondered why it couldn't be "the two little ones". I really wanted to be one of the big kids, even though my little brother and sister outgrew me by the time I was five.

As for our closeness, my sister, Anna, and I are very close. We are both raising boys; five of them under five years old. This bond has made us closer than ever, and we rely on each other for daily support and encouragement. Lord knows we need it.

But, many years ago, when I was suffering with a terribly bruised and broken heart, my sister, Cara, who is 10 years my senior, was my most trusted confidant. I would drive hours to visit her on the weekends, just to lay in the comfort of her lap.

All that to say, as time goes on, I realize that I experience seasons of closeness with my siblings. I used to think that was very strange - and desperately tried to figure out why that was. But, having talked with other friends in large families, I'm coming to realize that this is true more than not - and welcome the seasons of closeness as they come.

I am thankful for each of my siblings - and so very thankful that God made me part of a big family. Oh, the memories and stories we tell, and retell (as our husbands and wives roll their eyes) at holiday gatherings.

I remember when you moved into your new house you said you had a great long story of how God provided it for you guys and that you would share it later. Did I miss it? If not, can you share? Why did you move to the Midwest?

I hope to post the story of our move and finding our house at some point. But, it is a long story, and one that will take me time and a tremendous amount of thought to put together. I haven't yet taken the time to do that, but maybe you've just inspired me to do it!

And, with that, I've come to the end of your questions. Whew - that was exhausting. I think I relived most of my life in these last two posts. If you are still reading and not snoring on your keyboard, thanks for sticking with this wordy girl. Dang, I can talk.

Thanks for playing along, everyone.


  1. I made it to the end without coffee!! ;-) (but I did snack on a choc chip cookie beforehand - gotta love a good sugar boost!)

    Hey, wanna come be my personal chef? LOL!!

    And, oh boy, Sarah, do I totally understand you on the organization level. Did you see the beginning of 30 Rock last night? Oh boy, that was totally me!!!!

    Short stop - you had me at chocolate chip cookies!! :) (was that 2 years yet?)

  2. i loved all your answers and getting to know you better. like, i didn't know you came from such a large family. loved that picture!

  3. No snoring here! I enjoyed all your answers. I didn't know you came from a large family. I love that family picture!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the details of your life with us.

    Just a side note, I think your mom looks like the mom off of Footloose...the Reverend's wife. Funny!

  5. This may or may not help you with your organizational issues... it is worth checking out I think. =)

  6. thanks for sharing your life with us. you're an amazing person.

  7. Loved your answers and was surprised to come to the end so soon! Your post gave me a way to let Kate "cry it out" to get to sleep. She is not feeling well (cold and cutting 4 molars), and I could't get her to sleep. So, I laid her down and clicked on your blog. And read and read, while she cried. By the time I got to the end, blessed quietness! Perfect timing! Now, off to drizzle some icing on my Iced Shortbread Cookies that I am taking to another tea party/shower for Missy this afternoon. Thanks for the recipe again!

  8. Oh, the roof of my mouth is burnt from eating one of those cookies right out of the oven...just couldn't wait! Ouch! Preserves take too long to cool!

  9. I know how many blogs I have done by looking on my dashboard. Right there it says ____ posts.

    Just in case you hate math as much as I do.

  10. Hi Sarah, I'm "delurking" here for the very first time, although I read your blog quite often. I've enjoyed the recipes and, in fact, I'm going to try most of your favorite dinner tomorrow, the potatoes and asparagus especially. You have a beautiful family and I've enjoyed sneaking in each day to read about you all, wouldn't it be fun to have a giant bloggyl "let's meet each other in person??" Of course, it'd be about impossible to put together so we'll have to settle on meeting each other in heaven someday! :)

  11. LOL at the mention of Red Bull. You know that stuff doesn't work. For me, at least. ;-D

    Loved the info about you. Maybe I'll open up one day. Who knows...

  12. I love London broil too but have a hard time finding it in the store. Where do you find it?
    I also love that family picture. I love the eye shadow on your sister. We have a family picture where Cheri has all that eye shadow too.
    Ahhhh..... the memories!

  13. I'm "delurking" too ! I haven't got a blog but have a few I follow in the States (I live in the UK) Loved your answers and the picture. (how much ketchup in your recipe?)

  14. Hi, Sylvia.

    I apologize for the mistake in the recipe. I used to use ketchup in the marinade, but changed it to mustard - gave it much richer flavor.

    I corrected the mistake in the recipe! Thank you for catching that for me.

  15. Sar, I love learning more and more about ya. Thanks for taking the time to write these!!

    BTW--- I think your weakness of disorganization isn't as terrible as you make it to be. I think you just have your priorities straight. :)

  16. About the famous meal that everyone loves, I'm not sure there is a meal or dessert that isn't just amazing! I'm so hungry right now and those photos have done me in. Thanks for the times you have fed us WELL!

    Your answer to my question was right on. Even though two of my beauties are far away I cherish every minute we have with them and sometimes really feel that we appreciate one another even more because of the distance. (I'm still praying that the Lord brings them home, but if not I'm okay..after all these years, I'm okay. Having new friends like your family has brought joy back into a space that was dead and empty for a long time :)

  17. Sarah - thank you for sharing so honestly from your heart. You're an amazing woman! Your posts always bring a smile to my face or a tear to my eye, and sometimes both!

  18. NOPE!! Not the answer I was looking for....Now Sarah, the right answer is: Soon, just keep waiting!!!

    Just kidding....I love you and it doesnt matter how far you are, you will always be one of my dearest friends!

  19. Yep, every one of these answers described the Sarah I know and love. I've loved watching how God has brought you through many seasons of life to this point. He's got so much more planned for you.

  20. i loved these and enjoyed every minute of it.

    oh how i wish i could sew too. it is on my to learn to do list. i am not sure i have the patience for it.

    i am so not a low fat cooker/baker either. it just doesn't taste as good. give me to good stuff. i still need to learn a little bit of what is called self control. why can't cookies be good for you??

    thanks for doing this sarah.

  21. You can totally be our personal chef and I can be your personal organizer! Kidding, but wouldn't that be funny?! You have taught me to be a better cook, though, for which I (and my family) are deeply grateful.

    Loved lots of these answers -- it's obvious you put a lot of thought and time into this. What a great 500th post!