It’s Really Over

When I wrote this post almost two years ago, I thought that was the end of it.

I was in pain, but I was angry.

I didn’t want to ever see him again and I decided he was dead to me.

My focus was on taking care of mom. On making sure she knew we loved and supported her.

I couldn’t see past the present. Things were over but I couldn’t really picture what the future would look like.

I knew he wouldn’t be in it but it still seemed surreal.

After a while my anger faded into the background and I didn’t really think about any of it very much. I saw mom getting stronger and I focused on my life. My little family.

He would make half-assed attempts to reach out to me, but I knew he didn’t want us back. If he really loved and valued us, he would want to repent and get right with God. He would want to change everything and come back to us.

But he didn’t.

He doesn’t love anyone except himself.

I think he’s too sick to even know how to love.

But he sure as hell knows how to pursue his selfish desires and ambitions.

They are more important than we are.

So many promises were broken. A covenant was broken.

And it doesn’t even matter to him.

We are all left wounded in the wake of his choices. Left to lick our wounds while he “moves on” to some “new life”.

A life that he thinks will be better than the one he had with us.

As a little girl all I really wanted was to be loved, treasured, and adored by him. The drive to please him was overwhelming. It colored everything I did.

But it was never enough.

As a grown woman I’m still affected by it. The way I view the world. The insatiable need for love and affirmation. The perception that I have to work to earn people’s love.

Fortunately my Heavenly Father is mending my heart. He’s revealing His love to me in new ways and I’m understanding it for the first time.

But I still ache.

The choice he made two weeks ago ripped the scab off my wound.

I feel rejected all over again.

Our family will never be together again.

It’s really over.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies


These cookies are SO. FREAKING. DELICIOUS.

For the most part, eating vegan has meant that we are consuming loads of fruits, vegetables and healthy grains, but it doesn’t mean we don’t get to have any treats.  It just means we have to go about them a little differently.

Andy’s parents came over for dessert on Thursday night and I wanted to make a dessert that we could eat, but also that they would enjoy.  These cookies were the result!

I found the cookie recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it a little which made it slightly “less healthy” but definitely “more tasty”.

The frosting was my own concoction and it totally made these cookies!

And you’d never believe it when you taste these cookies, but they contain a whole can of black beans!  Don’t let this secret ingredient freak you out… you don’t taste it one bit.  The cookies are moist, chewy and delicious while packing a protein punch from the beans.  It’s like magic.  Just take my word for it.

Without further ado, I give you Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies!


3.7 from 3 reviews
Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert/Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 15-ounce can black beans (or 1½ cups dry beans cooked and cooled)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or rice flour, for gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Smart Balance spread
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Rinse the beans and drain them
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add the black beans, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons milk, and ½ cup honey. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ¾ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the bean mixture and blend until smooth and the batter resembles a thick mousse.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon 16 evenly distributed dollops of batter.
  6. Bake for about 9 minutes (the cookies should still be a little soft when you remove them from the oven).
  7. Set aside a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. FOR THE FROSTING: cream the Smart Balance spread and peanut butter together then add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until it's all incorporated. Add the almond milk to thin out the mixture, using more if necessary to achieve a good frosting consistency.


Family Fun Week!

I seriously could have blogged every single day this week because we’ve been up to so many fun things!

But because we were busy having so much fun, I didn’t have any time to sit down and blog about it :)

It started on Monday when my sister-in-law and her two kids came into town from Rhode Island.  They came by the house in the afternoon for a visit and to meet Miss Avery.  We had a great time catching up and Grace got to play with her cousin Adeline who she absolutely adores!

Photo Feb 20, 10 50 21 AM

They both look pretty “unsure” here, but it’s probably because it was the 15th picture that we took :)

That evening we went over to my Aunt’s house for the annual Pierogi Day.  It’s a tradition that my Grandma started years and years ago and a couple of my cousins are dedicated to keeping it alive.  They make hundreds of delicious pierogies every year and we all get together to feast on them.  Grace enjoyed her first pierogies, but even more than that she loved playing with her cousin (actually my cousin which I think makes it her second cousin) Micki.  They had a ball playing with Micki’s tablet, reading together and watching part of a movie together cuddled up on the floor.

Photo Feb 21, 12 17 58 AM

Hamming it up for the camera while enjoying her first pierogi!

Photo Feb 18, 7 45 51 PM

Cuddled up watching a movie and playing on the tablet :)

On Wednesday morning we met up with all the ladies on Andy’s side of the family for a fun coffee date at Morning Glory.  Boy is that place charming!  It’s a quaint little coffee and pastry shop nearby and it had such an ambient setting with a fireplace and beautiful breakfast offerings.  Grace enjoyed a chocolate milk from home along with her lemon poppyseed muffin and I had a soy chai tea.  We had fun chit chatting with all the girls and Grace loved playing with her cousins.  We took up the entire front section of the place!


ALL the girl cousins!

After the coffee date, some of us made a trip out to Somerset Mall for the afternoon.  We loaded up with more coffee from Starbucks (after all, it had been several hours since our last coffee drinks! lol) and we browsed around, mainly spending time at the Lego store and Build-A-Bear since we had 7 kids in tow :)  Grace had a lot of fun playing in both stores, but Build-A-Bear was definitely her favorite.

Especially since I’m a total sucker for that place and would probably buy her a “bear” every dang day just because it’s so stinking adorable to watch how excited she gets to go through the whole process!

Photo Feb 20, 1 04 19 PM

Getting started…

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Getting stuffed…

Photo Feb 20, 1 08 43 PM

Getting the puppy’s heart all ready to be put inside him…

Photo Feb 20, 1 13 38 PM

Cheesy smile with finished puppy and the Cinderella dress that we HAD to get to go along with him :)

On our way home from the mall (after feeding Avery in the parking lot!) we stopped by my old office to visit TeeTee (my sister) and Uncle David.  Grace had fun running around the conference table and snacking on chocolate covered blueberries and Avery had fun being out of her carrier for the first time in hours since she slept the whole time we were at the mall.

We headed home with happy hearts and hungry bellies so I whipped up a vegan dinner for us (Zucchini Chickpea Tomato Curry over brown rice) and we collapsed into bed with smiles on our faces.

I wanted to be sure we saw my sister-in-law and the kids again before they left on Friday so Thursday morning we gathered for another coffee date.  I may be having a love affair with Starbucks Soy Toffee Nut Latte….wow is it good!

The Starbucks near us is really tiny and almost all of the tables were occupied so we all crammed around a two person table until the ladies beside us left and we could spread out.  It was so nice to see everyone again and we girls always end up laughing hysterically which is balm for the soul.  I joked with my local sister-in-law that we are turning into the “Fabulous Housewives of Harper Woods” with all of our leisurely coffee dates and shopping trips.  I wish my R.I. sister-in-law lived in Michigan so we could all get together regularly.  Spending time with family is one of my most favorite things to do.

My oldest niece texted us about going out for lunch, so we packed up our stuff and headed over to National Coney Island for lunch.  I’m so glad my girls are such troopers when it comes to being out and about.  Two separate people came over to tell us how well-behaved the kids were while we were visiting at Starbucks.  As a mom, those compliments totally make my day.

That evening after dinner, Andy’s parents came by for dessert.  I whipped up an incredible batch of vegan cookies (recipe coming tomorrow) and we sat around chatting while Grace entertained us.  She’s such a ham and loves to see her Mimi and Poppa.  We even talked about the possibility of a beach trip this spring or summer which has me all excited about visiting South Carolina!

On Friday afternoon we headed out to spend the night with my mom.  Grace LOVES going to visit Grandma (and her toys!) so she was happily running around the house Friday morning gathering things that we needed to pack.  She’s growing up so much and has become an excellent helper.

My brother came by to see us while we were there and mom and I had fun talking and gobbling up a big bowl of her homemade garlicky guacamole along with some chilled Pino Grigio.  Grace played with all of Grandma’s toys and Avery did her usual eat/play/sleep routine like a champ.

Photo Feb 23, 10 57 15 AM

Avery fast asleep in Grandma’s arms :)

We had oatmeal with raisins, coconut and cinnamon for breakfast and lounged around talking and playing on Grandma’s iPad.  Grace’s potty training is still coming along slowly but surely and she’s recently had a fear of going #2 in the potty, but after a bit of a battle (1.5 hours) and a good bribe (a chocolate chip cookie and watching Kipper on the iPad) she went #2 in the potty!  We were all very proud and I think she was proud of herself  too.  Too bad she went #2 in her pull up after church today instead of using the potty :(  I’m learning that this process is a few steps forward and then a few steps back, but she wants to keep at it so I’m following her lead and trusting that eventually it will all fall into place.

I hope you all had a great week too and have been enjoying your weekend!  I’ll be back tomorrow with an incredible vegan dessert recipe!

Sticking With It…

Remember how I told you I was wearing a red scarf for 30 days to help raise awareness for human trafficking?

Well it’s day 17 and I’m getting kind of tired of it.

Isn’t that terrible?!

I’ve been faithfully wearing it everyday; even when I don’t go anywhere and it’s just layered over my yoga pants and t-shirt.  I’m committed to stick with it, but it’s getting old.

I bought a few new shirts, scarves and necklaces that I’m excited to wear, but layering my red scarf over them really clashes, so I’ve been holding off on wearing my new clothes.

It occurred to me today that I might be getting tired of wearing this red scarf for a measly 30 days, but the poor innocent girls and women who are victims of sex trafficking are subjected to unspeakable things EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

The VERY LEAST I can do is wear a red scarf for 30 days in a small attempt to bring awareness to this problem.

Every time I look down at my scarf and wish I didn’t “have” to wear it, I’m reminding myself of all of the precious young girls who need my prayers.

When I want to wear a new scarf or put together an outfit sans red scarf, I’m remembering to pray.  To pray fervently for all of the victims.  To pray justice will come to the men who enslave them.

I have 13 days left and I’m going to make them count.  I don’t care how much it clashes with my outfit or how many times I spill food on it, I’m going to rock this red scarf and pray my heart out about this issue!

 Photo Feb 20, 10 13 35 PM

Going Vegan…

Andy and I have decided to go Vegan for the next 40 days.

Our church does a lenten fast and this is how we’re choosing to participate.

I fasted for lent last year and the year before.

In 2011, I really felt God speaking to me throughout the fast and it resulted in some pretty cool stuff happening in my heart and my life.

Last year it just made me grumpy.

This year I’m going into the fast without so many expectations.

Through my Bible study this year and my wonderful mentor, I’m learning that I place unfair expectations on myself and the people around me.

The more I’ve considered this and spent some time asking God to help me break away from it, the more I’ve realized just how far reaching this whole “expectations thing” really is.

Think about it for a little while…when you feel frustrated, hurt, angry, jealous, anxious, or anything else, it’s because reality is not meeting your expectations. This often results in you judging the person(s) who didn’t measure up to the expectation they didn’t even know you had for them!

This has been a profound realization for me, but I’m having trouble putting it into words which might mean it’s a revelation just for me for now.

Back to going Vegan!

Our church observes Lent from the Monday after Ash Wednesday until Good Friday night, so Andy and I got started yesterday morning.

That was nice because it allowed us to indulge in a delicious filet mignon dinner for Valentine’s Day :)

Nothing like feasting on a cow before swearing off animal products for 40 days! #HumanNatureIsWeird

Anyway, we have one day down and so far it’s going well.

Breakfasts are easy since many cereals are vegan and we can just swap regular milk for almond milk. I’ve also really enjoyed steel cut oatmeal in the mornings.

PicMonkey Collage

Left: Oats with pecans, honey and chia seeds Right: Oats with strawberries, honey and chia seeds.

I thought lunches might be tricky, but I did a quick Google search for “vegan lunches” and got a handful of recipes that are easy for Andy to pack with him to take to school.

Photo Feb 18, 1 08 35 PM

Lunch: asparagus, rainbow chard and avocado quinoa salad (recipe to come!)

Dinner didn’t have me worried because I’ve eaten vegan before and knew I’d have plenty of time for dinner prep now that I’m home full-time. Plus, I have a handful of vegan recipes already posted here on the blog!

I actually have more vegan-friendly recipes than I thought!

I won’t be turning the blog into a Vegan-palooza for the next month, but I will be posting Vegan recipes since that’s what I’ll be cooking :)

I’m also starting to track my calories to shed some of this baby weight before summer. I’m not resurrecting Weigh-In Wednesdays because that was a humiliating series that my sister and I laugh hysterically about every time it comes up!

In the midst of all this vegan food and calorie tracking I want to keep sight of the fast. I want to pray that God speaks to me and that I listen to him especially well over the next 40 days. I know I’ll get cravings and in those moments I want to open my heart to Him.

Do you participate in Lent? If so, what are you fasting from?




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