Mormon Pumpkin Spice “Latte”

I loved (love) coffee. I miss it some days. The most difficult of those days come during Pumpkin Spice Latte Season. I’ve been jonesin’, man. EVERYONE has them. Everywhere I turn I see them. This is not helpful. So I found a recipe online for a pumpkin spice latte sans coffee. Here is the recipe:

1 cup of pumpkin puree, 4 cups of milk, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. You combine them all in a saucepan, use a whisk to make sure they’re all mixed up, and you simmer (not boil) over medium heat.

That’s it. BAM. Easy peasy. So a couple things about this:

  • It’s sweet. It doesn’t have the bitter taste of coffee to offset it.
  • It’s pumpkiny. Again, without coffee you can really taste the pumpkin. Not just in flavor, though. There are some little teeny pieces of pumpkin pulp.
  • The original recipe didn’t call for Ready Whip, but I put some on because, well, yum. Once it melted, it turned into that frothy goodness that you find with a “normal” latte. Did I say yum yet?

None of those things bothered me. In fact, I like it sweet and pulpy. I’m a big fan of all things pumpkin.

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This is what happens when you REALLY want to open a can and your husband took the can opener to work. Just sayin’.

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The final product…almost, I guess. This was before the whip cream.

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Things I Wish I Could Say

One thing I love about blogging is that I can express my thoughts without anyone looking at me. I have this fear of public speaking. In front of people at church I go into full on panic attack mode. Even in smaller, more intimate groups {like the one I was in last night} I have a hard time looking people in the eye while I’m talking. It doesn’t really matter what I’m actually saying. I think reciting the alphabet would make me cry if the group was large enough.

This is very inconvenient for me. I do like to talk. Those that know me well enough, know this. I have some good insight and a unique perspective {at least I think I do} and no really great way to share that with people other than from behind my keyboard. It works for me. This particular post may be all over the place, but bear with me. I think it will be worth your time to read.

Let me start this thought by testifying to you that without a doubt I know that Heavenly Father knows me. He knows what I need to hear and when I need to hear it. He uses various people in my life to let me know this. Sometimes it’s the same person a bunch of times in a row {and if you’re reading this, I think you know who you are} and sometimes it’s completely random people. I am a convert to the LDS {Mormon} church. I was born and raised Baptist and, as you can imagine, transitioning from the religion that I was part of for 23 years to a whole other one is long and hard. I have been a member for 5 years as of October 11 and I am still in transition. There are certain things that are just plain different from what I learned growing up. Some of these things immediately make sense and I get it. Others don’t. Those things that I don’t get nag and nag at my brain. They make me stumble. Make me doubt everything at times. I am the type of person that has a need to understand and to know everything, like, right now. It’s hard for me to admit, but that’s just not possible. It’s a lifetime of learning and gaining understand. My mother-in-law {whom I adore} has always told me “line by line, precept upon precept.” I would just think “No, no. That’s not going to work for me.” {Like I have a choice in that!}

Coming from a Baptist background I obviously know a lot of people who are not Mormon. In fact, if we’re looking at percentages here, I know a much higher percent of non-Mormons than I do Mormons. And I’m usually the only Mormon they know. So guess what that means? Yep. I get all the questions. At first I would dread when someone would say “You’re Mormon right? Let me ask you something.” Don’t get me wrong. I love sharing my faith with people. I really do. But when you get burned by one or two people who’s goal is argue with you and try to convince you that you’re wrong, you get a little leery of the questions. Plus, I’m still new. I definitely don’t have all the answers. In Sunday school yesterday we talked about missionary work. The wonderful lady giving the lesson {who has become one of my favorite speakers} asked a question something like “Why do we share our faith?” {This is where I wish talking in front of people didn’t make my heart pound like I just chugged a case of Redbull.} This isn’t where she was going with it, but this is the first thing that came to mind for me personally that I wish I had the courage to have said: The biggest benefit that I’ve seen to taking the chance and answering the questions is it strengthens me. It has happened to me twice within the last couple of weeks that I have explained something to someone and as I was doing so I figured a couple things out. And these are two of my big issues. Things I’ve struggled with for the last 5 years. Honestly, I’ve just been struggling in general lately. I’m not strong when it comes to things of faith. I never really have been. I kind of just float along. But that has it’s downfalls, obviously. Like I said, Heavenly Father knows what I need. He knows that I am weak in my faith and that the more things I can say for certain that I know, the stronger I will be as a whole. He sent me these questions not so I could answer them for the people asking, but that I could answer them for myself. Amazing.

There was something else that happened to me this weekend. I am also struggling with some things in my personal life that have nothing to do with church and faith. {Although stronger faith would help me get through them, I’m sure.} Saturday was a bad day for me. I spent most of it crying. Being sad. Then I got on Facebook and saw this blog post. I won’t recap the whole thing, but it was the last paragraph that really stood out to me:

“Life is hard, but oh so beautiful. Forget not whose hands we’re in. Forget not that you are not meant to just ‘get by’, but to give you the absolute best ever created. Forget not that His ways are always better and how comforting to know He knows us better then we know ourselves. Never should it be about what you don’t have or haven’t gotten yet. Don’t let it be about what you don’t know, or can’t do. Embrace what comes your way, especially that which you didn’t initially invision for yourself.  Trust. Allow Him to show you how great our God is. Do not be ashamed or embarrassed. And more than anything, do not think you cannot do this. Do not let giving up be an option. Focus on Him, knowing that you will be blessed with the best ever created. What you know and what you have is enough for His help and guidance. You are always worthy of your God’s love. Prioritize. Turn to Him. Experiment. Act. Focus. Commit. Try. Hold on. Embrace and receive.”

The woman that wrote that is my hero. {Her name is Al Carraway.} I just cried. I mean, that might as well have been Heavenly Father standing there next to me saying those words. I know He sent that to me at the exact moment I needed them. I have read them so many times since Saturday. That’s undeniable proof to me that He knows me. He knows my struggles. I am not alone, even though sometimes the adversary would like me to think I am. I know that whatever happens is His plan, and it will be so much better than anything I could possibly dream up for myself.

❤ Marissa