I used to work for Starbucks in my college days, so I was trained on tasting coffee and pairing the different flavors with cakes, muffins and coooookies (I’m a cookie monster). I’ll tell you whut, I do not like Starbucks brewed coffee. I still don’t enjoy it. At all.
I love their espresso drinks, but the only Sbux coffee I enjoy is the Christmas Blend, with something chocolateyyyy.
It is all mostly too bitter and dry for me. And no matter if I added flavor or milk to it, I didn’t care for the strong taste of their coffee.
So with that experience in mind, why did I even DARE try this product???
I try to keep an open, positive mind about different foods and drinks, I guess.
And I am SO happy I tried it!
It’s made with Cane Sugar, (no HFCS!) and c’est pas mal!
It’s very flavorful and smooooooothe.
Each packet is only one cup- just add hot water- like instant cocoa- and slurp away.
It’s GREAT for me- I normally have to sacrifice eating in order to take the time to brew my coffee in the mornings— I don’t have the Keurig, and I don’t like the machines that you set a timer on and pour the grinds in the night before (I believe leaving the grinds out overnight makes the coffee taste bitter)
If you like flavored coffee- I definitely recommend trying thisa’one. If you’re traveling and/or in a rush, this one is glorious.
Or, if you’re a momma like me, and don’t want to have to drive to a Starbucks to order a $4 drink that tastes exactly like this one, or you just need your coffee NOW, give this a shot. No pun intended. …Or maybe it was.
If you haven’t read the books or seen the last film, I’ll sound the spoiler alert right now. But really, this is pretty good, so keep on readin….
This is a message written throughout the seven-book series, however within the beginning, fast-paced, heart pounding chapters of the finale, Deathly Hallows, it’s spelled out for us, plain as day:
“I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there,” said Harry. “That’s Voldemort’s job.”
In this chapter, Harry is reprimanded by a superior for not killing or harming a Death Eater. This enemy- Death Eaters, they are called- turns out to be someone being used as a pawn, someone who’s been cursed to do Voldemort’s bidding against his own will. So actually, the Death Eater was not a Death Eater by choice. Regardless of this information, Harry still, bluntly refuses time and time again, to kill anyone.
We see this greatness in Harry throughout the entire series!
And even when he faces Voldemort in the final vis-a-vis, he doesn’t cast the Killing Curse, he asks Voldemort to repent!
He asks the one being who has hated him his whole life, who killed his parents, who lead an evil movement which resulted in the killing of Harry’s Godfather -Sirius Black-, Dumbledore, and many of Harry’s cherished friends, the one who at that moment was about to kill Harry himself, to try to feel remorse.
Harry chooses life!
Harry faces Voldemort twice in the final chapters of the book. In the first face-to-face, Harry is point-blank Cursed to death by Voldemort.
Skip the thrilling and intricate details and Harry awakens, confounded, to a sort of Purgatory in which he encounters Dumbledore. Harry asks Dumbledore why he has not truly died, and Dumbledore explains Voldemort’s ignorance of the truth outside his own selfish desire:
“And his knowledge remained woefully incomplete, Harry! That which Voldemort does not value, he takes no trouble to comprehend. Of house-elves and children’s tales, of love, loyalty, and innocence, Voldemort knows and understands nothing. nothing. That they all have a power beyond his own, a power beyond the reach of any magic, is a truth he never grasped” (709-710).
Harry returns to the real world, empowered with this truth and stuns the wizarding world around him when he reappears alive- including Voldemort himself.
So in the final and last meeting of Harry and Voldemort, Harry doesn’t attack him with violence, Harry doesn’t try to kill this Voldemort- this very misled individual. Harry tries to give Voldemort a chance to understand the truth. And when Voldemort rejects the truth and continues to reattempt to kill Harry, Harry casts a disarming spell, which rebounds Voldemort’s Killing Curse, sending Voldemort to his real and final death.
This pro-life movement is not only about protecting innocent and unborn human beings, but about giving others who do not understand the true value of humanity the knowledge they need, so that they step away from choosing death for any person, no matter if that person was conceived out of rape, incest, was a mass murderer, or drowned their own little girl in a swimming pool. No one on this earth has a right to take away the dignity of that with which we are all CONCEIVED: the dignity of our L.I.F.E.
All wrong-doers are supposed to be granted with this one truth! The ability to repent and be sorry is ALWAYS possible.
Harry knew it. And he’s a fictional character.
What a shame that so many individuals here today lack the same knowledge of truth that such characters as Voldemort and his Death Eaters do.
At 23, I was bartending, serving at my favorite restaurant, working two other jobs and finishing up college. At 23 I was going going going all the time- and it was F U N. I would work hard all day, and at 11pm, when I cleaned my last table for the night, I would go out with friends and enjoy the rest of the night. I hardly slept, never washed my hair but I always felt amazing: tired but spirited, grungy but fresh, scattered but I meant it to be!
I got pregnant.
I wasn’t ready. Wasn’t prepared.
The night I found out, Craig and I were watching Young Frankenstein waiting for the three minutes to pass in order to see the results of the test.
The summer had just ended: Bonfires, sand volleyball at the bar, sitting outside late at night anticipating the moment a shooting star would streak across the sky were all fresh reminiscence in my head- like the lingering smell of chlorine in your hair after you’ve been at the pool all day. Autumn was approaching and Craig and I were happy to be celebrating his birthday in 2 days.
But I’d missed my period.
I said to him, “what if I’m pregnant?”
He took a deep breath and said, “…then I guess you are. …honestly, I’d be excited”
It was one of those things that you go through life thinking, “that will never be me. That will never happen to me. Those people are just stupid, or they deserved what they got (like it’s some punishment)”
So with that considered, I took the pregnancy test not really believing that it would show up positive.
But, when I finally got the courage to pick up the thin stick and behold the electronic “PREGNANT” staring at me from the screen, my world flipped out.
Suddenly, the summer, that fresh in my mind, carefree awesome summer was gone. Like 5 years ago gone.
I. Am. Pregnant.
I didn’t really believe it.
But I did.
Rush of thoughts. Rush of emotions.
Rush of panic -sheer panic- most of all.
What was I supposed to do?
How was I supposed to tell my family! My devoutly Christian family! What shame this would bring upon my parents! How would people look at me! How would I be treated!
Those were my first thoughts. In the 5minutes after I reconciled in my mind that I actually was pregnant.
Then the next two weeks were a living hell inside my head.
Not only was I sick to my stomach with morning sickness, we hadn’t told a soul about it.
I couldn’t contain it! It was too much on my unprepared mind!
I cried on Craig’s shoulder in earnest. Sobbing. Standing outside in the October air. He had to go to work and I was getting ready to leave his parent’s house to go home.
Craig just let me cry. Stroked my hair.
After calming, he left, and I followed in my VW Golf. He turned left and I continued to my parent’s house.
Sunny day, early afternoon, no traffic, no distractions, no music playing. I rounded a small curve in the road, my eyes flickered down to the clock to check the time. I looked up.
My car neared too close to the edge of the road. I over-corrected. Then I over-corrected again. It felt like a bull had it’s horns in the hood of my car and was shaking it’s head…
My car rolled 4 times, through a heavy wooden horse fence, into a farmer’s front yard.
The doctor in the emergency room told me that each time a car rolls in an accident, the chance for fatal injuries increases by 50%.
Simple enough math for me. Car rolled 4 times = 200% chance that I should not be alive today. I received a burn on my arm from airbags deploying.
Of course I had no idea how pregnant I was so the doctor took my blood and announced to the room (my family had rushed to meet me there) I was 4 weeks pregnant.
The room was silent as I looked around with my eyes filled with shamed tears. But before my sense of hearing could comprehend it, I saw smiles and was being hugged by my mother, father and brother who were all present.
In the first 2 weeks of October, 2008, I encountered more trauma and stress than I’d ever met in my short life. Grappling with why I was alive was angering! I’ve mourned beautiful friends who’ve died in car accidents. And I’ve “tsk-ed” and shaken my head to news that someone I knew was pregnant out of wedlock. And then here I was, alive and ashamed.
I was met by some friends and family with silence and coldness about being pregnant. It weighed on me like a stone. I wanted to be loved but just wasn’t. I had no idea what being pregnant was going to do to my body (had never even thought about it before) so I was depressed that I was getting “fat”.
I would see girls my age having that care-free lifestyle I knew only months before, skinny, tan and turning heads. I envied them with bitter tears.
I went with my mom- just me and my mom- to try on wedding dresses.
I stood on the platform, looking at myself in the mirror, wearing the dress I’d picked out, and I saw the little bump.
“This is not what it’s supposed to be like,” I thought to myself.
“I should be here with a handful of my closest family and friends, laughing, excited, with a glass of champagne, skinny and tan, taking pictures and smiling”
But I wasn’t.
I looked at that stupid bump sticking out from under the sash in my dress and a voice came to me, “this little boy will cherish and love you more. This is true happiness.”
And that voice snapped me awake. I stared at my reflection realizing I was more happy at that moment than I would have been if I’d have been there in my ‘ideal’ circumstance. The ideal was more superficial, now that I had perspective on why I was there.
THIS was real.
This bump, this stupid bump, would be the greatest love I’d ever experienced beyond marriage.
And it is. 2 years later, two difficult years of losing jobs, a place to live, and all the other turmoil that comes along with financial distress, I would not have changed a damn thing.
Lexington is a unique and separate little life.
Many times you’ll hear some older person talking about their life in a boring, unsatisfied tone saying, “yeah I coulda done this or that, but life happened…”
YES. Life. It happened.
He was supposed to happen. He is here and has exploded my world with warm, musical, blue, sweet LIFE!
Thank you Jesus Christ for my little boy on this day. He is yours always, but Craig and I are better people with him in our otherwise aimless, wasteful life. What a gift. <3
A simple and accurate explanation of my FAVORITE week of the entire year.
Such a spiritually intense week! Prayers for my husband who will be receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist!