Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mr. Kummerow reads my blog!

> So Mr. Kummerow read my blog yesterday, for the first time ever. And now all of a sudden I am super shy about it. It isn’t as if he doesn’t already know my thoughts and feelings and ideas I put down here. And he certainly knows about my obsession with photographing my food. So there isn’t much reason to be timid. Nonetheless, I have an overwhelming bashfulness coming over me.

What I hope he does realize about this blog is how therapeutic it has been for me. I know, some of these thoughts are borderline private and maybe I should keep a personal journal. For me, a journal doesn’t work. I need to know that I have an audience, or the time spent writing seems like a waste.

It does amaze me that Mr. K had to pick yesterday of all days to read the blog! Most of my entries are pretty topical and mostly about food. But of course, the day I divulge my soul on the world wide web, he decides to notice my writing.

I am the luckiest woman on earth though…in case you didn’t know. He texted me to let me know that I was a brilliant writer and he was a proud husband. So I suppose there is no need for shyness. If nowhere else, at least I have a an audience with him.

As I’m typing this, I am flying back to North Carolina. I just finished my usual travel meal of peanut butter and banana on whole wheat. This one was a leftover bagel from Panera and an organic banana from the airport. I am sure the passenger next to me was appalled at my spreading peanut butter and slicing banana on a plane. Well I say, at least it doesn’t smell like the majority of food folks bring on planes. I’m sorry I cannot share a photo with you of my banana slicing talent at 4,000 feet, I left the house in such a hurry that I didn’t bring a camera with me on this trip.

I did however, snap a photo yesterday with my dad’s camera of my garden fresh salad I made for dinner. My parents have a garden the size of my backyard, and while the lettuce was a little over its season and tasted slightly bitter, the toppings certainly made up for it: strawberries, blueberries, nectarine, green pepper, cucumber, tomato and almonds. I can mix anything into a salad together and it will taste good to me. Some people stick strictly to vegetables, others will only eat fruit on a bed of lettuce with no other veggies. Some only like nuts on certain salads and some eat your typical “themed” salads (i.e. Caesar, Greek, Cobb). Not I. I am the “everything but the kitchen sink” salad type. And that’s just what this salad was. (photo coming soon, once I can get my dad to email it to me!)

Tonight I fly in and must rush to a very important meeting. I am excited for this meeting because it is a new project at work, but there is one place that I need to be more…with Andy…and unfortunately can’t be. My prayers are still with his family and my heart aches for them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unexpected visits

Today I am in Missouri. Weird. It was a very unexpected visit, and not under the best circumstances. Despite the somber reason for being here, several good things have come out of it. First and foremost, I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with my good friend Andy and his family. It is sad, however, that it takes a tragic accident to cause a person to make quality time for the ones they love, and I vow that it will not come to this again.

I also have had some time with my sisters. We had lunch together today, I got to see my nephew, my mom and my dad and that is always a treat. I am sitting here now with the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Koch and I was able to check out all of their honeymoon photos from Italy!

Last night my dad proved that you could fry vegetables without using any animal products (take a note all those restaurants who insist on making fried foods out of buttermilk!) Not that fried food is the best for you, but those fried okra last night sure made my day! And my mom and I realized not all veggie burgers are vegan...why must we put cheese and eggs in burgers?!

Speaking of food, this short trip has also given me the opportunity to test my new found will-power...and I'm happy to say, so far so good!

I did manage to get in a run 10:30am! It sure is hot mid-morning in Southeast Missouri, and I don't want to do that ever again! By mile 2 I was ready to quit, and I think I only made it slightly over 3 before I walked the rest of the 5 miles. I'm not disappointed however, this is officially the first time I have ever worked out while visiting home. So I am proud of my attempt!

It's a short trip, and I will leave first thing tomorrow morning. Sad to leave Andy, sad to leave my family, as always. But happy that I had this opportunity to be here. I know I have been vague here, but I would appreciate your prayers for Andy and his family right now, and I know that they would appreciate them too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is what happens when I'm in an airport all day and I let my thoughts come out on paper...

A major breakthrough occurred yesterday. While Mr. K is in Boone, I decided to take sometime to myself and focus on “these issues” I talk about so often. It is no secret what I’m referring to. If you’ve read the blog, you know that I possess a love-hate relationship with food. I truly enjoy planning, preparing and cooking meals- but on the flip side, I obsess over food, where my next meal is coming from and what it will be. I know that this possession of my mind is not what God has willed for my life, and I know I need to change.

So yesterday morning, I woke with a clear focus and a readiness to change. I realize that an instant change is often not achievable, so I suppose I could say I was ready to learn how to change. One of those half-read books in the stack is James MacDonald’s, I really want to change…so help me God. And I knew that if I could pray and meditate and read this book, I may be able to learn a thing or two.

Now let me preface, that while I have strong hope and trust in God, I was skeptical that anything would come out of yesterday, and out of this book. While I cry out to God daily to “fix me” and “help me” I had a sneaking suspicion that I was a lost cause. I was confused between what God is supposed to do and what I'm supposed to do. What were my duties and what was I meant to leave up to him?

Now food addiction is a curious one and in my opinion not quite as easy to cure as say…smoking cigarettes (which I successfully did 3 years ago). Simply because we can never get away from it. I can take myself out of situations where cigarettes are going to be. But let’s face it, we all have to eat.

Just days ago, in a very sad state, I told Mr. K that I wish I could rewind and go back 4 years. I look at that point in my life, the summer I met him and lived in Wisconsin, as a most happy time. And I cannot remember having any bad emotions about food. I see that what I said hurt Mr. K’s feelings…rewind 4 years and we were not happily married, we hadn’t moved to NC, where our lives truly began together and of most importance, we were not true followers of Jesus. I did not have a personal relationship with my God and Savior 4 years ago. So why would I wish to rewind to that point? That is how difficult my life has become with food addiction. It is a constant battle, spiritually, emotionally, mentally

Ok, so fast forward to yesterday. I awoke early with good intentions of attending a hot yoga class that was unfortunately cancelled (or should I say fortunately). Because as I was driving home disappointed, I realized this was God’s plan for my day. To wake me up early and ensure that I would have that extra time to spend with him. I retreated home and spent some time in prayer, and reading the Psalms, and finally I picked up James MacDonald’s book and set out on my second attempt to finish a book this summer. (It’s not done yet)

I had already read the chapters about “taking out the garbage” (aka using faulty methods of change). My garbage was the silly restrictions I place on my eating habits. No sugar this week, no gluten next week, quit soda for a month, and for one week only rice and veggies (etc.). When I previously read about taking out the garbage, I realized that these restrictions were not helping. I would survive for the allotted amount of time, then regress by binging on these “forbidden” foods after the stopwatch quit ticking. Restricting my diet doesn’t work for me.My “ah-ha” moment came in Romans 5:20. Paul writes: “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound.” Doesn’t make sense to you? Well it didn’t me either until James MacDonald explained that “Paul’s point was that rules and regulations about how to live don’t help us change, they only make us want to sin more.

So although tempted to continue putting restrictions on my diet, I put my foot down and said NO WAY! But without restrictions and rules, where would that leave me? And that is where I found myself yesterday when I began. I continued reading in the second section of his book about the process of change and James MacDonald took me into Romans chapter 6 for directions. If I can’t lay a rule on it, then what can I do to help myself change? And back to the original question: what is my job? And where does God come in.

For detailed instructions if you are dealing with change, please look at Chapter 6 of Romans, or even pick up your own copy of
I really want to change…so help me God. But here is a quick synopsis: I AM DEAD TO SIN! Truly, sin has no power over me. This concept is so vague in words, but once you understand, it makes change seem so possible. Jesus suffered and died on the cross that I may live. That I may be free from the chains of sin. I am not sin’s child, I am God’s child. I am not food’s child, I am God’s child. This reality inside my heart helped me to realize a very important piece of my life that I was leaving out of the puzzle.

Rewind again 4 years ago, and was I really free from the obsession of food? Or have I always been a glutton (ooh, what a hideous word). Sure I can look back 4 years ago and see photos of myself in great shape, happy and smiling. But perhaps that great shape was because of the physical demands of my job and not the ability to portion-control my food. Because if I rewind just a few years further, I possess absolutely no photos of myself. And when I suddenly see a photo of me tagged on facebook from my Sophomore year of college, I remember why I have no pictures. At my highest weight sophomore year, I scaled in at over 150 pounds. (I don’t know the exact amount…I hated the scale!) Some of you may be thinking…big deal, but I am a petite woman (or should be) and 150 pounds was definitely overweight for me.

If I try to think very clearly, I can remember always looking at other women and wishing I could be that. I don’t remember eating too much…but I’m beginning to think it is because I didn’t know better, and not because I didn’t actually eat too much! So why now do I obsess over it and think about it constantly, when actually I’ve always had this food addiction and just didn’t know it?

Enter God…my Savior.

You see, he has already begun a good work in me. He made me aware of my sin where I was oblivious before. The last few weeks I have felt like I just fell off the deep end, and couldn’t swim to the shore through the mucky water. Actually I’ve been in the deep end for quite some time, and now I’m not in the middle anymore…I’m close to the edge, to safety, to freedom! My awareness of the problem is God’s process of Sanctification. He wants me to change, to be a better person, to not be captive to the things of this world.

God has already started his job-by making me aware of a serious sin in my life, and now it is time for me to pick it up and take on the responsibility of my job. This realization is so full of hope, that it inspires me to do my “job” better. Knowing that God is already knee-deep in my “issue” and has been trying to help me for years now, lets me know I am not alone. Here I’ve been thinking that I needed to do something great to make Him want to help me, and really he’s already been there the whole time, scooping the muck out of the pool for me while I continued to flail!

It’s not over yet, though. There is still so much more to it. But now I can face each day with the hope that God cannot fail. That he is beside me through it all. He is holding my hand and pulling me to the shore. Luckily for me, James MacDonald doesn’t end his book here. He talks about the process of change further. And I think that we not only have to accept that we are dead to sin, but it is our job to make Satan know that we are dead to sin, and that he no longer has the power to control us. We have to show him this, or else he won’t know!

So here is the advice I was given in the book when faced with temptation: “Say it in a sentence. For life change to happen, we must apply the power of our identification to Christ at the specific point of temptation.” Say it out loud, James MacDonald tells us. I’M DEAD TO THAT. When that fateful 3 o’clock afternoon hour tortures me with a sense of low blood sugar and a temptation to eat everything in the house…I have to say: I’M DEAD TO THAT. I have to tell Satan that I’M DEAD TO THAT. He no longer controls me. Because I died with Christ and was raised with Him, I now have the power to choose. And I choose to be DEAD TO THAT!

No big deal right? I can do this.

Have you dealt with an addiction or sin in your life that you felt had unstoppable control over you? Please feel free to share with me. You don’t have to tell me what it was, but I would love the opportunity to pray for you. And please continue to pray for me as well. That every day I will make the right choice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


So I wonder, if I could accurately convey the thoughts in my head down on paper, would I sound as crazy as I feel sometimes? Maybe I am just too coward to let my deep inner thoughts out into the world. Maybe that's not a bad thing...

I'm just thinking, because this week has been a most difficult one for me. Do you have those weeks, when you question reality? You question your choices and the purpose of each choice? Well that's where I've been, and I think I can safely say that I am on the upswing of this intense week. But now my question is: where does all that questioning leave me?

And then I'm back to the beginning. And maybe there really is no purpose to the questioning, and perhaps it was all part of a bad week...I hope that there was more to it than that, however, and I pray that I can find some discernment in it all.

Which brings me to this morning. Unfortunately I didn't get to sit in church long, just the first few songs but while I was there a feeling came over me. A very deep sense of belonging. I always feel belonged (ha that's not a word) at church, but this was different. I can't even describe it as feeling "at home" because again, I always feel at home in church. This feeling was more like a "I could never feel at home anywhere else." More than just the physical building and the people surrounding me, but at home with Jesus. Like: this is my home, and no other place could I feel comfortable.

I find in normal every day situations I don't "fit in" as much anymore. Sometimes I try to go shopping, and I definitely don't fit in there. When we go out on that rare occasion, I tend to feel very out of place.

So I guess the point of this is, that although I've had a rough week, I have felt very lost and alone, I know that I'm not lost, and that I'm not alone. And maybe its the fact that I live in a world that I don't belong in that all these questions come up. I belong to my creator, and I am only in this world for a small amount of time, and I need to do the best with that time that I can.

So this week I am going to work hard, I am going to play hard, and I am going to love God each and every day for what he has given me and for what he has done for me. And maybe some of my questions will begin to melt away...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

So much to tell...too little time

I have so much to blog and so little time. Mr. K will be home any minute from his Saturday job and then we have an adventure to Albemarle tonight. So where to begin? Well here is a small update: I finished the Great Gatsby! Phew! I do feel a little accomplished. Although not a long book, I finished one...and that is a great thing! I haven't decided what is next. Probably one of the non-fiction books.

Uh-oh, I hear the this one will be quick. Let me just update you with some food photos from the last few weeks. We'll have to catch up on the rest later :)

This was lunch the other day...toasted tempeh and "cheese" on Ezekiel bread with green tomatoes and Asian Zing dressing from BWW. Yummy!

This was dessert with Julia and Kelsey and Mr. K. Fruit with dip. Of course I stuck to my favorite dark chocolate and peanut butter spread, while the others indulged on the cream cheese and chocolate dips (those were leftover when my in-laws were in town...I did not buy those)

Dinner one night when my brother was in town...of course my favorite tahini-tomato sauce with whole wheat spaghetti and sauteed kale and onions and mushrooms with a little vegan parmesan cheese. The "meat" is Trader Joe's Soy yummy!

Dinner with the girls: taco night: guacomole, refried beans, homemade fresh tomato salsa and a roasted black bean corn salsa, with all the fixins'!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reading lists

So I used to be into monogamy...with books I mean! (I'm still very much monogamous in my marriage!) I could pick up a book, open the pages, read it, finish it...and move on. Why, then, have I become such a polygamist with my reading this summer? Or maybe it isn't even this summer, but this entire year? For example, the book He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen has been sitting on my nightstand since the Fall of 2009, half read! Or James MacDonald's book, I Really Want to Change...So, Help Me God, yes I have had that since early 2010- 4 chapters in. The China Study I began reading when I found Whole Foods Vegan Momma's blog in early Spring and my one fictional attempt this summer, The Great Gatsby, I have had to re-read chapter 4 three times now! And don't get me started on my Bible reading. I have been in the book of Psalms for far too long now! It is supposed to be my goal to finish the Bible this year, but I may need one more!

Where is my sense of accomplishment, my will to complete, the want to finish?! Why can I not follow through? Am I too busy? Maybe I'm just not making it a priority. And I guess the real question is, does it matter? Well I suppose it does if I'm taking the time to blog about it. So here it is... a new goal. Not a big one, just something to kick start my mind. I am choosing the easiest of them all to complete first, in the attempt to remind myself how much I enjoy finishing a book. So The Great Gatsby it will be.

New Rule: I will not read another book until the Great Gatsby is finished.

There. It. Is. Now I am accountable because it is on paper. Or on a computer screen anyhow. Oh, but one exception- of course I can read the Bible during my daily quiet time and I guess any other time I feel inclined. I suppose if I wanted a real challenge, I would make the Bible my goal. But then that really isn't a realistic goal if I'm wanting to kick start this completion thing!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hiking Highlights

So I've been a little out of touch recently. I have been quite busy entertaining house guests...quite my favorite thing to do. If you are keeping up with my blog, you know that my father-in-law was in town a few weeks ago, followed by my brother and now my sister-in-law and her best friend are here.

Well, I took "brother bear" to the airport yesterday after nearly two weeks of quality brother-sister bonding time. We talked mostly about the documentaries we watched: about food, oil, directors, musicians, etc. We chatted about Dave Ramsey and budgets, about future plans for him in college and much, much more. However, our best brother-sister moment was on the trails of Grandfather Mountain. Call it a hike, but we called it an adventure: it was an experience I'll not quickly forget!

Check out the trails that we hiked:

So day one we hiked the Tanawah Trail from the Boone Fork Parking Area to the Daniel Boone Scout Trail (.7 miles). We then turned on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail and took it to Calloway Peak (3 miles) where it intersected with Grandfather Trail and took that to the top of Grandfather Mountain at the Swinging Bridge (2.5 miles). We had a yummy lunch of PB&B and granola. After just a short rest we had to head back...the same way we came. Another 6+ miles! We were already so tired and sore and we were only half way there!

Here are some photo highlights of our hike:

This was truly the best experience with my brother. The next day we hiked about 3 miles to the Linn Cove Viaduct...a very gorgeous hike and also checked out Beacon Heights.

And of course I have to show off our vegan camp food. Although vegan, I can't say that it was the healthiest. We ate vegan hot dogs, lots of PB&B sandwiches, grilled "cheese" sandwiches and "egg" salad. For dessert we had vegan smores. We tried two kinds of marshmallows: Sweet & Sara and Dandie's. I can't say which was my favorite. I liked the texture and ease of Sweet & Sara, but I may have liked the flavor better of Dandie's. We used Rice Dream chocolate and Boom Choco Boom bars. We also made campfire "pies" from Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread with this wonderful Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and marshmallows. The photo doesn't show how delectable these treats really were!

While on the trail, I got to spend some quality time with my creator. When you look out and see the beauty in the mountains, its easy to know that God exists and he loves us! I sat on top of Beacon Heights and prayed. My brother walked over to a lookout and announced he had never felt more alive! The mountains caught us awestruck and I was on top of the world. God gave us such a beautiful world to live in, and so many days all I seem to do is muck it all up! But for two days on top of the world I too felt more alive than I've felt in a while and it was wonderful! I am so happy I got to spend this time with my brother!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So what's happening in the Kummerow home this week?

Mr. Kummerow just returned from the mission trip in Chattanooga. My brother is in town visiting for another week, Mr. Kummerow's little sister and best friend arrive for a short weekend visit and I am just trying to keep up with work and home.

As I mentioned previously, Will (my brother) and I have been having a documentary marathon this week. The latest two being Food Inc. which we have both previously watched, but wanted a refresher...and Michael Moore's new film about capitalism. It was a very interesting perspective on capitalism, but unfortunately I have no opinion to share with you on the subject. It just made me think...but I have not formulated ideas of my own and therefore am not willing to go into detail. Food, Inc. on the other hand, I can tell you is dead on with what I believe. However, in practice it can sometimes become difficult. It frightened me because as a whole foods vegan I believe I'm doing so much already to help my body, the environment, others, etc. And then to go and find out about corn and soy. What shall we eat then? I suppose we can stick to organic and we are pretty much guaranteed we won't consume GMOs, but organic can get expensive, and at least where I live, inconvenient. But we all have to start somewhere. And the more conscious we are of the world around us, the better decisions we will make. Along the same lines, I skimmed through a book this week called Food Rules by Michael Pollan. It is a quick read and pretty fun. Here's your rule of the day:

#2 Don't eat anything your Grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

Let me tell you today what I ate that she wouldn't recognize: tofu, daiya cheese (twice), and while she would recognize diet coke, it probably wasn't the best choice. So what did I learn today? Maybe to lay off the processed vegan foods and stick to the veggies :)

Over my soapbox, lets discuss how well I did this week with my "quiet time" and personal Bible study. Certainly an improvement over last week and the weeks prior. I haven't had my time today...but the day isn't over. Every other morning I woke up and after my typical morning routine, I sat down with the Bible, read a few chapters (I am in the process of reading the Psalms) and prayed. It was easier this week to pray, I had a lot to pray for: my brother, my husband, our youth group on their mission trip. So I enjoyed my quiet time with the Lord this week. I began to feel more at peace this week about a few areas in my life that need work. Obviously the work is in progress, but there is a glimmer of hope and I have that to look forward to.

Well we are off to Open Mic Night at my church. I'm excited to hear Nathan sing, and I really wish my brother would have brought his sax...but alas it isn't the easiest thing to "carry-on".

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am a Jesus Follower

So, I'm looking at my blog and realizing that although my profile states that I am a Jesus follower and then a vegan...I am representing a vegan more often than a Jesus follower in my entries. This account of the last few weeks of life accurately represents where my faith has been these last few weeks.

You see, as created beings on this world, we are all left with a void inside of us. That void is meant to be filled with God, Jesus, our faith, our daily quiet time with the Lord and our trust and hope in eternal life...but what so many of us make the mistake of doing is filling that gap with worldly things. I fill mine with food. And sometimes material things, and anger and all my other sins...but food is the one thing I rely on more than anything else. I like to eat, and I consume myself with planning meals, thinking about food, relishing myself in food, etc. Now all those things don't necessarily have to be bad things. Liking food isn't awful. Planning meals: a very worthy deed. But when all these things takes the place of my faith in life, that is when I start to fall out of touch.

I realized that I haven't had my quiet time in quite some time. So my goal this week is to spend time each morning with the Lord. Hopefully this will bring me back to center. And help me to remember what is really important.

On another note, my brother is visiting this week. He flew in yesterday and he is suffering the heat with me. The AC is not working well in my house and my car. And today we have been zombies on the couch dealing with this heat. We did take in some really great documentaries on Netflix today, however. Right now is "Unusual Buildings and Road Side Attractions". Good times.

Well just so you know...for dinner tonight we grilled portobellas. Yummy! We watched "Beautiful Truth" a documentary about cancer and how our processed foods causes cancer and how it can be healed through whole foods and a vegan diet. So now my brother thinks he may become vegan! Nice! Or at least be more conscious of his food.

And on one more note, Mr. Kummerow and a couple guys from our church and youth group are in Chattanooga, TN on a mission trip through Son's Servants. They are working for Widow's Harvest. I have talked to Mr. Kummerow on the phone and I know they are doing roofing and building ramps. And I also know it is very hot there as well. So keep our boys in your prayers this week.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Almost the weekend...

At the Kummerow house we are preparing for the long holiday weekend and out-of-town visitors. I'm cleaning the bathrooms and Mr. Kummerow is working in the yard. His dad arrives tomorrow afternoon and we have so much to do to prepare for his visit and our BBQ on Saturday.

Since arriving home from our roadtrip we have been taking it pretty easy. While we did start a new work out routine: 6:45am! Our evenings have been pretty laid back and we have been watching a fair share of television and netflix!

Our dinners have been as laid back as our television watching time! Here are some photos of what's cooking at the Kummerow home...

Inspired by my trip to Chicago Diner, Mr. K and I recreated our own version of sweet potato quesadillas. This is one of my favorite dinners of all time! I just boiled the sweet potatoes and mashed them (no seasoning or butter) and spread them on a corn tortilla with vegetarian refried beans, mashed avacado and soy cheese.

I made Mexican rice to accompany the quesadilla, but I was so full I didn't even touch my rice!

We even made homemade tortilla chips with the corn tortillas. We just sliced them with a pizza wheel and baked them in a very hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Home made pizza is one of our favorites. This one has BBQ sauce, sliced baby bellas, pineapple and tempeh. Our own version of BBQ chicken pizza. I also made a kale salad to go with the pizza. Corn, mushrooms, beets and artichokes were the stars in the salad!

One of my favorite drinks right now is juice mixed with sparkling water. This drink here is actually one of the new Pellegrino drinks- lemon. I didn't realize it was so full of sugar when I bought it, so I mixed it with sparkling water to make it a light spritzer.

And of course I made my favorite tomato-tahini sauce. So easy and so delicious. Spread on penne pasta and broccoli on the side. This is an easy, no hassle dish that satisfies your taste buds!

Of course it is so much better with the broccoli mixed in!

This was lunch yesterday. Kale and Broccoli sauteed with tofu and mushrooms in shoyu. I discovered that a piece of toast with hummus is a great base for this concoction. So I layered on the veggies and ate as an open face sandwich. Very tasty!

I've been working on a project for my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. I'm pretty sure they have already figured out what it is, although they haven't received it yet. So I feel it is fairly safe to post this here...who knows if they read my blog anyhow :)

So 30 years is a big deal. And I wanted to give them a very special present. After my wedding, I created a photo book of my wedding photos for them as a thank you for the wedding. And I got to thinking...their wedding photos are in an album somewhere falling apart, pages torn, and yellowing. I wanted to make sure what was left of their photos were preserved for the next 30 years. So I created a photobook for them on snapfish. It is in the mail. I shipped it to my sister's who will wrap it and present it to them for me. I don't get to see it first which is a bummer. I really hope it turned out well. And I'd love to see their faces when they open it and, but I can't be there. Going through their pictures made me tear up. I've seen them a million times, but what struck me this time was the similarities between their wedding and the weddings of my sisters and me. You've got the traditional poses: First dance, cutting the cake, and those are all similar. But it was the smile on their faces, the love in their eyes that really struck me. It was like watching Diana and Kendall get married all over again, or feeling my heart skip when I walked down the aisle to my awaiting groom. I think this gift to them was really a gift to me, and hopefully to my sister's as well. I am so proud to have parents who are still together. It seems like a rarity. Sure there were ups and downs, and there still are. But I know they love each other. And I can only hope to have that 28 years from now!

So if you are reading this mom and dad...Happy Anniversary! Way to go--30 years! I am so happy! And your photobook is on its way! Love you both!