Friday, January 28, 2011

Imagine a world...


Where all of your projects were completed BEFORE the deadline...way before.

Where plans don't change and disappointments don't happen.

Where people can all cook...really well.

Perhaps my rose colored glasses are permanently stuck to my head, or maybe I'm just really, really happy.

WHY, you might ask?

I'm lounging on the couch with a fever and a nasty "virus" (according to my dr.) that is neither fun nor relaxing. Because of this plague, I missed an event yesterday that I've been looking forward to--and working toward--for 6 months. Frustrated by my sickness and hard work poured into this project, I was ready to scream, stomp my feet, and start throwing things around in anger. Instead, I just teared up.

The event is an annual to-do sponsored by the City, called Project Homeless Connect. It serviced hundreds of homeless in the community plus others that we might never know it helped. What a BRILLIANT IDEA, putting all of the social agencies in one big room, a one-stop shop for anyone off the streets who needs food, housing, clothing, a pair of glasses, a haircut, medical services, education, substance abuse treatment, counseling, job training, etc... BRILLIANT!

But I learned something really important. The show went on without me. And it went on REALLY WELL, too. People were assisted, volunteers did all they could, agencies gave out invaluable resources. It was really great. It didn't need me.

However, I feel this little secret bit of gratification because all of my hard work payed off...I just didn't get to see it in person. But I've been getting emails and phonecalls today from people who were so glad of how the Project went. As a social worker and a minister, I recognize that there will be times when I will NOT see the fruit of my labor and not be a part of the end result of my work. That's okay, because I know I did my best. And the people who needed yesterday got what they came for. What a blessing.

On one other little note, Mountains Beyond Mountains is an AMAZING BOOK!

And, to keep it food related, I made THE MOST SINFUL DESSERT IMAGINABLE
 after sub-par Tex-Mex with my friend Melissa from North Carolina. Melissa is amazing...someday I'll share more about her. There are 2 Melissa's in my life, and they are so different and so fun!

Okay, back to the sin..

I was sitting at this popular Mexican restaurant and thinking, 'Wow, this enchilada and taco are really not as good as people think.' So I started dreaming about dessert, and this is what happened...


Step 1: Fry a sliced banana in olive oil.

Step 2: Fry 2 white flour tortillas. (sensing a theme?)

Step 3: Assemble & add some whipped cream and chocolate sauce on top.

Step 4: Drizzle honey over pile of sugar happiness to give a "sopapilla" feel.

This heart attack on a "special plate" is ready for devouring!
Okay, so this is what it is not:
1. healthy
2. nutritious
3. low fat

This is what the Banana Bomb is:
1. Freaking fabulous
2. Tasty
3. An occasional treat
4. Super awesome
5. Full of cinnamon, honey, banana-y, chocolatey, whipped goodness!

So the "good" outweighs the "bad," and it DID make me feel special. My friend/mentor Carla gave us this plate, and it has been used a couple of times for special occasions. We mark on the back the special occasions with a special pen. The honey jar is one my grandmother (Mama) gave me years ago--it's from a trip we took to Meridian and a farm in Laurel, Mississippi. I was missing her and thought this was the golden opportunity to open up this bad boy of honey happiness. After all, wouldn't she be proud that I added fruit (and named the recipe after a fruit) to this concoction??? Haha, maybe...

So cheers to a great evening with a wonderful friend, at a crappy Mexican restaurant. And cheers to loving life and feeling special!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

22 degrees

It's a sunny 22, according to I'm sitting in my gray leggings, gray wool dress, and leather jacket, ready to take on the world. But alas, I don't have a desk right now at my internship site. There have been a HOARD of interns coming in this week, so we have to share and make it work. For now, our lovely tan couch in the den will do.

So, how has life been lately, you might ask?

Well, the holiday season was special and difficult, too. There were some I did not get to see enough of (quick 5-minute visits) and others that I felt I couldn't be around too much. I'm being vague, I realize, but God certainly humbled me this holiday season to open my eyes to His love and His mercy and not dwell on the problems and injustices around me. I'm talking mostly about things here in Waco and things in my own circle of friends and family. I've been given an IV of peace in the last couple of weeks, and I am so grateful for that. I hope you have had a WONDERFUL holiday season with friends and family and that you found peace and joy amidst the hustle and bustle.
Just off the plane in Honolulu. Is it a sin to wear a scarf in Hawaii?

Here is a recap of my holidays:

Working at the pharmacy
Wrapping up my grant project at Baylor
Baking cookies

A fun little "The Cluthes" sign for our home
Finding out there is extra grant money, so I'm back on the project at Baylor
Christmas Eve singing in the choir at church (with Dad!)
Christmas Day at Mom and Dad's &
Missing the Kansas family
The Day after Christmas in Hawaii!

Matt & I mostly enjoyed being with family and RE-LAX-ING, something I forgot how to do last semester. I didn't realize how hard the last 5 months have been until I was able to step back and see the pitiful state I was in by December. Self-care is something we ALWAYS talk about in class but SO DIFFICULT to actually do! Who has time? Well, I think I'm going to have to do more self-care or I will be no help to others.

Oh, Hawaii was GOR-GEOUS! The people, the food, the sites...amazing. I wondered why my parents would pick one of the touristy places in the country on the busiest week in their whole year of tourism...and then I saw the beach and the house we stayed in...then I understood.

Dinner cruise at sunset
It was beautiful, simply beautiful. And when I looked past the Prada and Dolce stores and behind them toward Waikiki Beach, I knew why we were here. God was there, and it was really easy to see His beautiful creation on those crystal blue waters and the soft, tan sand between my toes.

A beach near Hanauma's not fake, I promise, but a lil windy
We stayed right by Waikiki, and the house sat by a large city park. People of all ages were running and walking and picnicing in the park, so it was quite encouraging. I even took a couple of long walks that week and felt so alive among the Banyans and the cool waters. I know, I know, it was a touristy place, but I actually had a wonderful time. We're ready to go back...for maybe a month...after I sell my right arm and kidney for the trip expenses. If you have a chance, go! If you've been already, go again! It's marvelous. I thank my Mom and Dad for such a memorable trip...their generosity never ceases to amaze me, whether or not I'm on the receiving end. Matt & I got closer on the trip, and it was wonderful to have my cousin Jeremy there to bring the humor. :)

Homemade beverages

My idea of heaven...beautiful beach, amazing people to be around and no makeup!

A ship at Pearl Harbor. (AKA the only time I'll ever touch a gun)

My cousin Jeremy and I being Texas dorks

The Duke
Dorks at the Honolulu Cookie Company
Delirium at the airport
Happy January, as you start school again or just try to stay warm! Love to you all.